Working Memory and Word Learning in Children with Typical Development and Language Impairment

Project: Research project

Project Details


Word knowledge is critical for speaking, reading and writing, yet a substantial proportion of children with language impairment demonstrate poor word learning and consequently poor vocabulary. Because vocabulary has a causal relationship with reading comprehension, this presents a significant national health concern. To develop effective interventions we require a clear understanding of the deficits underlying poor word learning. Deficits in short-term phonological memory have been implicated as a causal factor in poor word learning; however, phonological memory measures account for a limited amount of variance associated with word learning. We hypothesize that word learning success depends on the contribution and interaction of all working memory components and that word learning variability is directly related to a childs working memory profile. To test this hypothesis we compare the fit of four theoretical working memory models and four working-memory based word learning models in five groups of children and analyze between- and within-group differences using new working memory and word learning batteries.
Effective start/end date2/1/111/31/17


  • HHS: National Institutes of Health (NIH): $2,491,276.00


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