Measuring short term memory for serial order and incidental learning as aptitudes for L2 idiomaticity

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Recent investigations of the mechanism underlying the relationship between new word learning and phonological short term memory (pSTM) suggest that word learning depends not only on the short term maintenance of phonological material, but also on the incidental or implicit abstraction of phonological structure (Service et al 2007). Other research has proposed that the creation of new chunks in long term memory is particularly reliant on the maintenance of serial order in STM, even in individuals with a highly developed phonological knowledge base (Majerus et al 2008). This poster reports on methodological issues arising from the use of two versions of a short term memory task which simultaneously measures serial recall of order information and incidental learning of statistical structure, a partial replication of Karpicke and Pisoni 2004. This instrument was used as an individual difference measure in two studies (n=80 and n=33) investigating ultimate attainment in knowledge of L2 conventional word combinations in bilingual adults with advanced proficiency and long experience in their L2 (between 12 and 70 years). The use of a task as an aptitude measure for ultimate attainment (where past learning processes are inferred on the basis of present relationships) raises issues of the stability of the measured ability and reliability of the measure. This poster reports on whether task performance is related to participant characteristics such as age at testing, language of testing and length of exposure to the L2. It also explores whether serial recall performance is related to the magnitude of incidental learning when stimuli and response modes differ and whether either is related to performance on operation span and non word repetition tasks. Karpicke, J.D., & Pisoni, D.B. (2004). Using immediate memory span to measure implicit learning. Memory & Cognition, 32, 956-964. Majerus, S., Poncelet, M., Van der Linden, M., & Weekes, B. S. (2008). Lexical learning in bilingual adults: The relative importance of short-term memory for serial order and phonological knowledge. Cognition 107 (2), 395-419. Service, E., Maury, S., Luotoniemi, E. (2007). Individual differences in phonological learning and verbal STM span. Memory & Cognition, 35, 1122–1135.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventIRIS project colloquia on Eliciting Data in L2 Research - University of York, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sep 2013 → …


ConferenceIRIS project colloquia on Eliciting Data in L2 Research
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period2/09/13 → …

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