The Effects of Working Memory, Processing Speed, Executive Memory, and Presentation Speed on Swedish Language Learning

Open Access
Barlieb, Aran
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Keith E Nelson, Thesis Supervisor
  • Kenneth Levy, Honors Advisor
  • information processing
  • language learning
  • working memory
  • processing speed
Individual differences in information processing have been suggested to affect second language (l2) learning. Adult participants with no prior knowledge of the Swedish language were tested for working memory, processing speed, and executive memory capacity. Participants then received 6 instructional sessions with animations of Swedish sentences, with each participant seeing some lessons at High and some at Low rates of presentation. Higher levels of Swedish performance during Instructional Sessions were associated with higher Working Memory levels. In contrast, measures of Swedish language performance at demanding long-term retrieval was more complex and revealed several dynamic relationships between Processing Speed, Working Memory, and Swedish language learning. Implications for theory refinements and adjustments in teaching to individual learner characteristics are discussed.