Ifigeneia Dosi*, Selini Kamoura
Democritus University of Thrace*
There has beena long debate whetherElicited Imitation Tasks (EITs) measure linguistic skills, or they are more based on the rote memory skills. Some studies have noted that the role of memory (either working memory or short term memory) is crucial for the performance on EITs (Alloway and Gathercole, 2005; Alloway, Gathercole, Willis and Adams, 2004). Few studies have claimed that the contribution of memory is more important than the contribution of language to EITs performance (Hamayan, Saegert, and Larudee, 1977). Nonetheless, other studies have not observed the impact of memory on the performance in EITs (Okura and Lonsdale 2012, Dosi, Papadopoulou and Tsimpli, 2016). There ishowever,a great number of recent studies which maintain that EITs draw on both language ability and cognitive resources,primarily from working memory (Riches, 2012; Klem, Melby-Lervaog, Hagtvet, Lyster, Gustafsson and Hulme, 2015), especially when the sentences are quite short (Fattal, Friedmann and Fattla-Valevski, 2011), since language processing is less demanding in short sentencesand memory abilities are more possible to affect the participants’ performance (Alloway et al., 2004). Language proficiency also seems to affect the performance on the task (Bley-Vroman and Chaudron, 1994; Munnich, Flynn and Martohardjono, 1994). Limited is the evidence about Greek native speakers, who learn English as a second language (L2), such data would be useful for the educators to plan a more targeted lesson.
The present study investigates the language and working memory skills of native speakers of Greek, who learn English as a L2. Additionally, it also takes into account the aforementioned issues in order to test whether (a) EITs measure both linguistic and (verbal) working memory abilities and (b)language proficiency hasanyimpact on participants’ performance. Hence, in the present study eight participantstook part; half of them (n=4) were intermediate learners of English and the other half (n=4) were advanced learners of English.