Polish Listening SPAN: A new tool for measuring verbal working memory

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Katarzyna Zychowicz
Adriana Biedroń
Mirosław Pawlak

Abstract

Individual differences in second language acquisition (SLA) encompass differences in working memory capacity, which is believed to be one of the most crucial factors influencing language learning. However, in Poland research on the role of working memory in SLA is scarce due to a lack of proper Polish instruments for measuring this construct. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the process of construction and validation of the Polish Listening Span (PLSPAN) as a tool intended to measure verbal working memory of adults. The article presents the requisite theoretical background as well as the information about the PLSPAN, that is, the structure of the test, the scoring procedures and the steps taken with the aim of validating it.

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Author Biographies

Katarzyna Zychowicz, Pomeranian University, Słupsk

katarzyna.zychowicz@apsl.edu.pl

Katarzyna Zychowicz is Assistant Professor in the Department of English Philology at Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk, Poland. Her research interests include individual differences in second language acquisition, especially working memory, multiligualism, and interlanguage development.

Adriana Biedroń, Pomeranian University, Słupsk

adriana.biedron@apsl.edu.pl

Adriana Biedroń is Professor of English at the Faculty of Philology, Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Poland, and the Faculty of Philology, Koszalin University of Technology, Koszalin, Poland. She received her doctoral and postdoctoral degrees in applied linguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland. Her main areas of interest are SLA theory and research, individual differences in SLA, in particular, foreign language aptitude, working memory, intelligence, personality factors and linguistic giftedness. Her recent publications include “Foreign Language Aptitude: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (co-authored with Edward Wen and Peter Skehan, 2016, Language Teaching) and “New Conceptualizations of Linguistic Giftedness” (co-authored with Mirosław Pawlak, 2016, Language Teaching).

Mirosław Pawlak, Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz State University of Applied Sciences, Konin

pawlakmi@amu.edu.pl

Mirosław Pawlak, Professor of English; Faculty of Philology, State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland; Department of English Studies, Faculty of Pedagogy and Fine Arts in Kalisz, Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz, Poland. He received his doctoral and post-doctoral degrees as well as his full professorship from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. His main areas of interest are SLA theory and research, form-focused instruction, corrective feedback, classroom discourse, learner autonomy, learning strategies, grammar learning strategies, motivation, willingness to communicate and pronunciation teaching. His recent publications include The Place of Form-focused Instruction in the Foreign Language Classroom (2006, Adam Mickiewicz University Press), Production-oriented and Comprehension-based Grammar Teaching in the Foreign Language Classroom (with Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak, 2012, Springer), Error Correction in the Foreign Language Classroom: Reconsidering the Issues (2014, Springer), Applying Cognitive Grammar in the Foreign Language Classroom: Teaching English Tense and Aspect (with Jakub Bielak, 2013, Springer), Willingness to Communicate in Instructed Second Language Acquisition: Combining a macro- and micro-perspective (with Anna Mystkowska-Wiertelak, 2017, Multilingual Matters), as well as several edited collections on learner autonomy, form-focused instruction, speaking and individual learner differences. Mirosław Pawlak is the editor-in-chief of the journals Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching (http://pressto.amu.edu.pl/index.php/ssllt), Konin Language Studies (http://www.ksj.pwsz.konin.edu.pl/?lang=en), and the book series Second Language Learning and Teaching (http://www.springer.com/series/10129).

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