Psihologija 2010 Volume 43, Issue 3, Pages: 219-232
doi:10.2298/PSI1003219V
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Effects of proficiency and age of language acquisition on working memory performance in bilinguals

Vejnović Dušan, Milin Petar, Zdravković Sunčica

This study examined language proficiency and age of language acquisition influences on working memory performance in bilinguals. Bilingual subjects were administered reading span task in parallel versions for their first and second language. In Experiment 1, language proficiency effect was tested by examination of low and highly proficient second language speakers. In Experiment 2, age of language acquisition was examined by comparing the performance of proficient second language speakers who acquired second language either early or later in their lives. Both proficiency and age of language acquisition were found to affect bilingual working memory performance, and the proficiency effect was observed even at very high levels of language competence. The results support the notion of working memory as a domain that is influenced both by a general pool of resources and certain domain specific factors.

Keywords: working memory, bilingualism, language proficiency, age of acquisition, reading span

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