The Development of Reading and Operation Span Tasks in Persian as Measures of Working Memory Capacity for Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Urmia University

2 Urmia University- Iran


This paper presented two complex span tasks in Persian as measures of working memory capacity (WMC). Firstly, the construct of working memory (WM) and possible WM measures that could assess this construct efficiently were critically reviewed. Accordingly, as measures of domain-general components of WM, a reading span task and an operation span task which were documented to assess this construct efficiently were chosen and developed. Following this, the developed tasks were conducted on 151 teenage learners in a foreign language institute in West Azerbaijan Province. Then, the administration and scoring of the measures were described step by step. The tasks were validated against each other as well as against a digit span task which assessed the domain-specific aspect of WMC as well. The result showed a strong correlation between the reading span task and the operation span task, and a moderate correlation of either of the functions with the digit span task. Consequently, both of the developed span tasks can be valid indicators of WM capacity for Iranian individuals and can be used in a wide array of research domains in second language acquisition studies.  


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