The role of working memory in acquiring new structures and lexicon when learning English as a second language




verbal working memory, short-term and long-term memory, sensory memory, reproductive vs. reconstructive memory, postponed repetition


The following paper discusses working memory as it functions during the acquisition of a second language by children. It analyses the results of a study conducted over a 12 month period on a group of 12 Polish children ages 10 to 14, learning English as a second language. The focus of this longitudinal study was the role that the verbal working memory plays in the acquisition of new structures; namely, the extent to which processing new information in working memory is essential to learning grammar and the possibility of developing strategies of using working memory itself during the learning process. The method adopted was a comparison of several oral tasks, including repetition and postponed repetition. As the conclusion to the discussion, certain didactic implications are presented, such as the need to control and modify the didactic process as to the degree to which it relies on working memory.


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How to Cite

Janczukowicz, K. (2021). The role of working memory in acquiring new structures and lexicon when learning English as a second language. Beyond Philology An International Journal of Linguistics, Literary Studies and English Language Teaching, (18/2), 95–112.



Language Acquisition