A principal argument against the use of elicited imitation (EI) to measure L2 oral proficiency is that performance does not require linguistic knowledge, but requires only rote memorization. This study addressed the issue by administering two tests to the same group of students studying English as a second language: (1) a working memory test, and (2) an English oral proficiency EI test. Participants came from a range of English language proficiency levels. A Pearson correlation was performed on the test results for each participant. The hypothesis was that English EI scores and working memory scores would not correlate significantly. This would suggest that the two tests do differ in what they measure, and that the English EI test does measure knowledge of the language to some degree. The results of the Pearson correlation revealed that there was a small positive correlation between working memory and English EI scores, but that it was not significant. There was also a significantly positive correlation between students' English EI scores and ELC level. These findings suggest that the English EI test fundamentally functions as a language test, and not significantly as a working memory test.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Okura, Eve Kiyomi, "A Study of the Correlation Between Working Memory and Second Language EI Test Scores" (2011). All Theses and Dissertations. 3025.
working memory, elicited imitation, short-term memory, language testing, linguistic knowledge, explicit linguistic knowledge, implicit linguistic knowledge