Determinant processing factors of recall performance in reading span tests: an empirical study of Japanese EFL learners
Access this Article
Search this Article
This paper reports on experiments examining the effect of processing cognitive load on storage functions during the performance of different types of reading span tests (RST). It further explores the relationship between RST scores and the English proficiency among Japanese EFL learners. We used four types of RSTs-a standard version (RST 1), an RST with a Japanese-translation verification task (RST 2), an RST with a grammatical judgment task (RST 3), and an RST with a semantic judgment task (RST 4). Two types of English proficiency tests were also administered-a grammar test and a reading comprehension test. The results showed that the span scores of the RST 3 were significantly lower than those of the other RSTs, irrespective of scoring methods. In addition, the span scores of the RSTs 2 and 3 correlated significantly with both the grammar and reading test scores, irrespective of scoring methods and weighting conditions. These results suggest that syntactic processing places a heavy cognitive load on working memory (WM) resources, thereby leaving few resources for storage functions while Japanese EFL learners are performing the RSTs. They also suggest that their English proficiency largely depends on the degree of automatization of syntactic processing.
- Jacet journal
Jacet journal (53), 93-108, 2011
Japan Association of College English Teachers