Can Working Memory Strategies Enhance English Vocabulary Learning?

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Diana Ibarra Santacruz
David Martínez Ortega


This study sought to determine how working memory training could contribute to retaining vocabulary studied in English lessons through the implementation of a set of strategies. Two intact groups of beginners: one experimental, with 28 students, and one control group, with 22 students, belonging to undergraduate English as a foreign language courses at a Colombian university were involved in the study. After being exposed to a series of memory strategies for a period of 10 weeks, it was evident that most learners in the experimental group benefited from the intervention and showed gradual progress in the retention and retrieval of the words studied in the lessons; thus, improving their overall competence in the foreign language.

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Ibarra SantacruzD., & Martínez OrtegaD. (2018). Can Working Memory Strategies Enhance English Vocabulary Learning?. HOW Journal, 25(2), 29-47.
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Author Biographies

Diana Ibarra Santacruz, Universidad de Nariño

Diana Ibarra Santacruz holds a BA in English and French from Universidad de Nariño (Colombia) and an MA in English linguistics from Radboud University (The Netherlands). She belongs to the Language and Pedagogy research group at Universidad de Nariño. Her interests are second language acquisition, assessment, and methodology in language teaching.

David Martínez Ortega, Universidad Mariana - Universidad de Nariño

David Martínez Ortega holds a BA in English and French from Universidad de Nariño (Colombia) and an MA in teaching English as a foreign language from Universidad ICESI (Colombia). His research interests include second language acquisition, alternative assessment, language teaching methodology, and autonomous learning.


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