Objectives: The purpose of the current study was to investigate children's working memory performances by modality and task type, and to find the best predictor of receptive vocabulary in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and typically developing (TD) children. Methods: A total of 50 children between 4 to 8 years of age participated in this study: 25 children with SLI and 25 TD children. The working memory tasks were composed of four different task types (digit, color, shape, and word span) and were presented in two modalities (visual and auditory). Results: There were significant differences across the groups, modalities, and task types. The SLI group performed significantly lower on all working memory tasks compared to the TD group. A two-way interaction between group and task type, and modality and task type was significant. Visual-word span was the best predictor of receptive vocabulary (REVT-R) in SLI, whereas auditory-digit span was the best predictor of receptive vocabulary (REVT-R) in TD. Conclusion: When selecting the best predictor for receptive vocabulary, the visual-word span and auditory-digit span can be used for the SLI and TD groups, respectively. Thus, it is important to consider both the presentation method and type of stimuli when identifying language impairment.
- Domain-specific working memory
- Specific language impairment