This study investigated whether verbal working memory training could improve the phonological awareness, word recognition, and working memory in pre-school bilingual children. Methods: Twenty-two Korean-English bilingual children aged 5-6 years who were attending English kindergartens or international institutes participated in this study. Subjects were split into two equal groups, training and control groups. The training group completed intensive working memory training (10 sessions over 2 weeks) which consisted of word span backward training and dual-load condition training tasks. Two groups were assessed on 10 measures of phonological awareness (syllable, phoneme), word recognition (real-word, non-word) and working memory (non-word repetition, Korean Competing Language Processing Task [CLPT], English CLPT) before and after working memory training. Results: The training group showed significant increases in the percentage of correct responses on syllable awareness, phoneme awareness, non-word recognition, forward and backward non-word repetition tasks, but not on real-word recognition, Korean CLPT, and English CLPT tasks. There were no significant differences in all measures between pre-test and post-test in the control group. Conclusion: These results show that linguistic working memory training boosts performance on measures of reading-related skills and working memory. This finding suggests that working memory training could be considered as a reading skill intervention for bilingual children.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Korean Academy of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology.
- Competing Language Processing Task
- Non-word repetition
- Phonological awareness
- Preschool bilinguals
- Verbal working memory training
- Word recognition