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Effects Of Operation Span In Working Memory Capacity On EFL Learners' Writing Performance

Posted on:2019-02-13Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:L ZhouFull Text:PDF
GTID:2415330545971490Subject:Second Language Acquisition
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Since Baddeley and Hitch's(1974)working memory model was introduced in the field of second language acquisition,many researchers focus their attention on working memory and lexical acquisition,grammatical acquisition,reading comprehension,listening comprehension and oral production.However,less attention was put into working memory and second language written production.Based on Kellogg's(1996)model,this study aims to explore the impact of working memory capacity on EFL learners' written performance.Specifically,the impact of working memory capacity on EFL learners' expository writing in terms of fluency,accuracy,syntactic and lexical complexity as well as the holistic writing quality were investigated.76 sophomores of English majors from Jiangxi Normal University participated in this study.All of them took part in operation span task and expository writing task.Operation span task was presented in the psychological software E-prime,then the participant s were divided into three groups: high,middle and low working memory capacity group according to operation span task.The material of expository writing task was adapted from TEM-4 in 2015.All the expository writing texts were encoded and analyzed by using a comprehensive set of measures for accuracy,fluency,complexity as well as holistic writing quality.Then the data were input into the computer and analyzed by SPSS 20.The results showed that 1)working memory capacity has a significant influence on the holistic writing quality,has a significant on accuracy of second language writing,has a significant effect on syntactic complexity of second language writing.However,working memory capacity has no significant on fluency of second language writing,has no significant influence on lexical complexity of second language writing.2)With regard to group differences in accuracy,fluency and complexity,the results showed that there was a significant difference between high and middle working memory capacity group in syntactic complexity,between high and low working memory capacity group in syntactic complexity.There is no significant differences between any of the groups in accuracy,fluency and lexical complexity.3)In terms of trade-off effect,the results showed that there is a trade-off effect between accuracyand fluency,between fluency and syntactic complexity.However,there is no trade-off effect between fluency and lexical complexity,between accuracy and syntactic complexity,between accuracy and lexical complexity.Based on the results of the current study,individuals with a larger working memory capacity can allocate more attention to formulation,execution and monitoring of the writing process.Therefore,individuals with a larger working memory capacity can produce high quality essay writing,more complex and accurate sentences.Moreover,this study has some pedagogical implications in teaching writing.First,in second language writing,firstly,in order to reduce the burden of working memory capacity in planning ideas,teacher should encourage students to read many books which can lay foundation for writing material.Furthermore,in order to reduce the burden of working memory in translating ideas into sentences,teacher should put an emphasis on formulaic language teaching.
Keywords/Search Tags:Working Memory, Written Output, Accuracy, Fluency, Complexity
PDF Full Text Request
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