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Modularity, working memory and language acquisition

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Publication details

JournalSecond Language Research
DateAccepted/In press - 8 May 2017
DatePublished (current) - 9 Jun 2017
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)299-311
Original languageEnglish


The concept of modularity is used to contrast the approach to working memory proposed by Truscott with the Baddeley and Hitch multicomponent model. This proposes four sub components comprising the central executive, an executive control system of limited attentional capacity that utilises storage based on separate but interlinked temporary storage subsystems. One, the phonological loop, is concerned with the temporary storage of verbal materials and another, the visuo-spatial sketchpad stores visual information. A fourth component, the episodic buffer, allows the various components to interact and enables their content to become available to conscious awareness. After a brief description of the relevance of the model to language acquisition, an account is given of the way in which it has developed in recent years and its relationship to other approaches to working memory.

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© The Author(s) 2017

    Research areas

  • modularity, working memory, phonological loop, short-term memory

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