This study investigated the role of phonological memory (PM) in second language (L2) speech production by English-speaking adults who were learning Spanish. PM, operationalized as serial nonword recognition, and L2 lexical, narrative, and grammatical abilities from speech samples were assessed 13 weeks apart. After controlling for the amount of speech output, PM contributed significantly to the development of L2 narrative skills for less proficient participants (17.5% of variance explained) and to gains in correct use of function words for more proficient participants (15.7% of variance explained). These findings suggest that PM plays an important role in narrative development at earlier stages of L2 learning and in the acquisition of grammatical competence at later stages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Linguistics and Language
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics