Evaluation of the effects of bilingualism on auditory-verbal working memory using the Persian version of Rey auditory-verbal learning test
Background and Aim: Although recent research has revealed the positive effects of bilingualism on children's cognitive abilities, little information is available on the relationship between bilingualism and working memory. Working memory is generally composed of four distinct parts, among which the phonological loop plays an important role in speech and language development, reading skills, and learning. In the present study, bilingual and monolingual students were compared in terms of auditory-verbal memory performance, using Rey auditory-verbal learning test.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, the auditory-verbal memory performance of 56 monolingual and 55 bilingual students were assessed, using the Persian version of Rey auditory-verbal learning test. The study samples were selected among students in the fifth and sixth grades of primary school. Finally, the scores obtained on the test were compared between the two groups.
Results: The mean scores of stages 1-5, 7, and 8 of Rey test were 48.71 (SD=6.71) out of 75, 10.25 (SD=2.29) out of 15, and 10.50 (SD=2.27) out of 15 in monolinguals and 53.54 (SD=5.24), 11.80 (SD=2.13), and 11.98 (SD=1.88) in bilinguals, respectively. There was a statistically significant difference between the scores of the two groups (p<0.001, p=0.001, and p=0.001, respectively).
Conclusion: In the present study, the bilingual group showed a significantly better auditory-verbal memory performance, compared to their monolingual peers, based on the Rey auditory-verbal learning test. Therefore, it can be concluded that bilingualism may have a positive impact on auditory-verbal working memory.
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