Literal and Inferential Listening Comprehension: The Role of L1 vs. L2 Auditory Working Memory Capacity

Mohammad Nabi Karimi, Reza Naghdivand
2017 Journal of Modern Research in English Language Studies  
Working memory capacity, especially as it relates to L1 vs. L2, has been found to play a significant role in language comprehension and processing. Majority of the related studies have, however, been focused around reading comprehension, either in L1 or L2 contexts. The present study is a further attempt to investigate the role of working memory capacity in language comprehension/processing but in the context of L2 listening. To this end, a sample of 220 foreign language learners (both males
more » ... ners (both males and females) were recruited. To collect the required data, a series of measures including a language proficiency test, two auditory working memory capacity tasks (English & Persian) and two listening comprehension passages were administered to the participants. The results showed a significant relationship between Persian and English auditory memories for storage dimension but not for the processing component. Additionally, the findings showed that L2 auditory memory is more highly correlated with L2 listening comprehension compared with L1 auditory memory. A further finding of the study was that literal vs. inferential types of listening comprehension engage different types of working memory processes.
doi:10.30479/elt.2017.1532 doaj:e55457522be74847a29c0846d20e2cad fatcat:ky62sz6uenhrhjlguxlql532mm