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Verbal comprehension and working memory in Russian-Latvian bilingual adolescents

On October 16, Tatiana Kanonire, PhD, took part in the «Culture matters» seminar.

Tatiana Kanonire has presented her thesis, «Russian-Latvian blinigual adolescents' verbal comprehension and working memory», based on a study performed in Latvia. 161 adolescents, 72 of them bilingual, took part in the study. Participants have completed measures of verbal comprehension and working memory. Bilingual adolescents have completed each test twice – once in Russian and once in Latvian. Monolingual participants have only completed the Latvian version. The data showed that among bilingual adolescents all four major variables (verbal comprehension and working memory in Russian and in Latvian languages) correlate among each other positively and significantly. A multiple regression analysis showed that 33% of variance in verbal comprehension of Latvian language can be explained by working memory in Latvian language and verbal comprehension of Russian language. Verbal comprehension of Russian language was also predicted by verbal comprehension of Latvian and working memory in Latvian.

After the presentation particiapnts discussed the methods of the study and theoretical grounds for using tests of working memory in second language.