84 Norwegian 10-year-old children were tested in short-term memory, L1 language competence (semantics and grammar) and L2 skills (vocabulary and comprehension). While previous studies have shown strong relationship between short-term phonological memory and L1 competencies, the extent to which specific language competencies correlate which each other, and the extent to which competencies in the L1 correlate with skills in the L2, is still open to debate. We aimed to establish whether such links can be found in Norwegian children. Our results convincingly demonstrate that language competence is related to short-term memory, in support of previous studies. We find strong correlations between short-term memory, competencies in the L1 and skills in the L2, suggesting that memory may be a common underlying mechanism in language learning. We also find reliable correlations between specific competencies in the L1 (lexical knowledge/grammar), and between vocabulary size and sentence comprehension in the L2.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
- First language competence
- Language development
- Predicting differences in language attainment
- Second language skills
- Verbal short-term memory