Zhisheng Edward Wen

Zhisheng Edward Wen
Hong Kong Shue Yan University | HKSYU · Department of English

PhD in Applied Linguistics (CUHK)
Prof & PhD Supervisor at Shue Yan University; Editor-in-Chief of "Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning"

About

130
Publications
84,534
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836
Citations
Citations since 2017
105 Research Items
738 Citations
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Introduction
Prof. Zhisheng (Edward) Wen (温植胜) obtained his Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His current research focuses on exploring the roles of language aptitude and working memory in second language acquisition, processing, evolution and development, couched within the basic tenets of his theoretical framework of 'Working memory as language aptitude' (i.e., the Phonological/Executive Model; Wen, 2016/2018).
Additional affiliations
August 2014 - February 2023
Macao Polytechnic University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Teaching and Research; Editor-in-Chief of "Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning" (JPLL)
May 2013 - May 2015
The University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Honorary Assistant Professor
Description
  • Taught MA courses in Linguistics Program (e.g. Multilingualism); Research Project Supervision
September 2010 - May 2013
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Taught MA in Applied English Linguistics Program (Psycholinguistics and Research Methods)
Education
June 2019 - July 2019
University of Coimbra
Field of study
  • Macao Tertiary Education Professionals Training
June 2018 - July 2018
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Macau Tertiary Education Professionals Training
August 2004 - July 2007
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Field of study
  • Applied English Linguistics (Second Language Acquisition)

Publications

Publications (130)
Book
Full-text available
This book introduces an approach to understanding and measuring working memory components and functions in second language learning, processing and development. It presents comprehensive, thorough and updated reviews of relevant literatures from cognitive sciences and applied linguistics. Drawing on multidisciplinary research, the book advocates a...
Book
Full-text available
Summary: This unique volume offers a comprehensive discussion of essential theoretical and methodological issues concerning the pivotal role of working memory in second language learning and processing. The collection opens with a foreword and introductory theoretical chapters written by leading figures in the field of cognitive psychology. Follow...
Article
Full-text available
Foreign language (FL) aptitude generally refers to a specific talent for learning a foreign or second language. After experiencing a long period of marginalized interest, FL aptitude research in recent years has witnessed renewed enthusiasm across multiple disciplines of educational psychology, second language acquisition (SLA) and cognitive neuros...
Book
Full-text available
This book presents comprehensive, thorough, and updated analyses of key cognitive factors relating to individual differences in the acquisition, processing, assessment, and pedagogy of second or foreign languages (e.g., age, intelligence, language aptitude, working memory, metacognition, learning strategies, and anxiety). Critical reviews and in-de...
Preprint
Full-text available
[To appear in Wen, Z., Skehan, P. & Sparks, R. (edited), Language aptitude theory and practice. Cambridge: CUP Press. 2022] An aptitude model for translation and interpreting: Insights from translanguaging theory Han Lili, Wen Zhisheng, Zi-yu Lin & Li Wei Abstract The past two decades have witnessed translanguaging theory (Li, 2018) making its fo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract The current volume calls for a paradigm shift of language aptitude research from its previous focus on aptitude testing to theory construction and practical applications. In this introductory chapter, we first provide a brief overview of research paradigms of language aptitude testing and theory construction in the past six decades, summar...
Book
Full-text available
Memory is essential for every day life. The understanding and study of memory has continued to grow over the years, thanks to well controlled laboratory studies and theory development. However, major challenges arise when attempting to apply theories of memory function to practical problems in society. A theory might be robust in explaining experim...
Chapter
Working memory (WM) refers to our cognitive capacity to temporarily and simultaneously store and process a limited amount of information in our mind to complete ongoing mental tasks. Extending previous studies applying cognitive WM models and perspectives, in this chapter we argue that an alternative approach, namely, affective WM, may be able to s...
Article
Full-text available
The present study sets out to investigate how multilingual youth perceive and represent their linguistic repertoires. To achieve this goal, we introduced a computer-vision-aided analytical method to deal with the obtained visual data, which comprised digital images of language portraits created by a group of young multilingual speakers. An OpenCV m...
Article
Full-text available
Haroldo de Campos’ cannibalism translation theory boasts of distinct Brazilian cultural characteristics. With its rich and profound connotations, it has now become an important translation theory in the world. In China, Jiang (2003) first introduced cannibalism translation theory and it gradually aroused Chinese scholars’ academic interest. The cur...
Article
Full-text available
O Lincog - Simpósio Mundial sobre Linguagem e Cognição é um evento de caráter internacional criado com o objetivo de acolher discussões situadas na fronteira de áreas do conhecimento. Ele foi gerado como resultado de um brainstorming nas reuniões científicas realizadas sob a coordenação do Grupo de Pesquisa Linguagem e Cognição, sediado na Faculdad...
Article
Full-text available
This current study explores the influence of learners' working memory capacity (WMC) on the facilitation effect of an instructor's presence during video lectures. Sixty-four undergraduates were classified into high and low WMC groups based on their performance in an operation span task. They watched three types of video lectures on unfamiliar topic...
Book
Full-text available
It just happened that 2023 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis (LCDH) advocated by Prof Richard Sparks. To celebrate this important language aptitude model and many other landmark contributions made by Richard to the broad fields of applied linguistics, language education and educational psychology, we are gue...
Article
Full-text available
Richard Sparks is currently Professor Emeritus of Special Education in Mount St. Joseph University's Department of Graduate Education in Cincinnati, USA. For over 40 years, Richard has had a celebratory career in teaching, researching, and servicing language education. His broad research interests and academic influence span various sub-domains of...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in case studies and surveys by researchers of second language acquisition (SLA) and cognitive (neuro-)science to probe into the group of exceptionally talented multilingual learners or polyglots who can understand and speak an impressive number of multiple foreign languages other than their own mother...
Article
Full-text available
The current paper is an interview with Professor Richard Sparks, who has contributed his teaching, research, and consultancy service to academia and the broader community at large for over 40 years. In this paper, the two guest editors of this special issue (Edward and Hassan) had prepared a list of questions and invited Prof Sparks to answer them...
Data
This latest book by Prof Richard Sparks traces and summarizes the author's theoretical insights and empirical findings in the field of foreign language education. The volume explores themes such as individual differences in L1 ability and their connection to L2 aptitude and L2 achievement, L2 anxiety as an affective or cognitive variable, and the r...
Chapter
Full-text available
It is a privilege for the two of us to have this opportunity to read this book, written by our colleague and collaborator Prof Richard Sparks, and to have the honour to write a foreword. Richard has had a distinguished career and is now Professor Emeritus of Special Education in the Mount St. Joseph University's Department of Graduate Education. Hi...
Article
Full-text available
Note-taking skills are critical to consecutive interpreting. As an important construct of translation competence and an essential skill of interpreting performance, note-taking merits rigorous and systematic investigations as well as reliable and valid assessment instruments and procedures. In the present study, we aim to further validate the note-...
Preprint
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) refers to our cognitive capacity to temporarily and simultaneously store and process a limited amount of information in our mind to complete some ongoing mental tasks. Inspired by established research on WM and language from cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics, recent decades have also witnessed an increasing body of empi...
Preprint
Full-text available
The present paper discusses how insights from translanguaging theory and pedagogy can help inform and promote genre pedagogy for teaching business communication courses such as writing and translation. To this end, the first part traces and reviews the developments of genre theory and pedagogy in tandem with translanguaging theory and pedagogy, thu...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper discusses how insights from translanguaging theory and pedagogy can help inform and promote genre pedagogy for teaching business communication courses such as writing and translation. To this end, the first part traces and reviews the developments of genre theory and pedagogy in tandem with translanguaging theory and pedagogy, thu...
Book
Full-text available
This special issue sets out to review and provide new insights into the bilingual and multilingual education policy in the Greater Bay Area of China (GBA, including Hong Kong, Macau, and Guangdong) in the light of the emerging translanguaging theory (Li Wei, 2018 & 2021; Li & Shen, 2021; Li & Kelly-Holmes, 2022). Specifically, it will apply the tra...
Preprint
Full-text available
This special issue (Asian Pacific Journal of Foreign and Second Language Education, 2022) sets out to revisit major bilingual and multilingual education policy and planning issues in key cities across the dynamic Greater Bay Area (GBA) of China (including Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau), as informed by the emerging insights from translanguaging th...
Book
Full-text available
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Chapter
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) is our limited-capacity storage and processing (memory) system that permeates essential facets of our cognitive life such as arithmetic calculation, logical thinking, decision making, prospective planning, language comprehension, and production. Since the very inception of WM in the early 1960s (Miller et al., 1960), its role in...
Chapter
Full-text available
According to George Miller (1956), a pioneer of the ‘cognitive revolution’ and proponent of the buzzword concept of the “magical number seven,” cognitive science in the modern sense had only started in the 1950s and gradually took shape in the mid-1970s. Based on Miller’s (2003) historical account, cognitive science as a scientific field of study w...
Article
Working memory (WM) is our limited-capacity storage and processing (memory) system that permeates essential facets of our cognitive life such as arithmetic calculation, logical thinking, decision-making, prospective planning, language comprehension, and production. Since the very inception of WM in the early 1960s (Miller et al., 1960), its role in...
Article
This chapter explores the dynamic relationship between working memory (WM) and grammar development across adult L2 learning. For over twenty years, WM has received considerable attention in research on adult second language (L2) development. One reason for this is that L2 learning requires both processing and storage to comprehend input and to extr...
Article
The capacity for temporary storage and manipulation of information, i.e., working memory (WM), was first reported to be related to vocabulary acquisition over 30 years ago (Daneman & Green, 1986, for general WM capacity; Gathercole & Baddeley, 1989 and Service, 1989, for phonological WM). Although a relationship with L2 vocabulary knowledge has bee...
Article
The phonological component of the working memory system is specialized in maintaining a sequence of verbal items (digits, letters, words, pseudowords) over a very short period of time. Therefore, a central issue has been why we are provided with such ability, and what is its functional role. A series of studies on healthy people, on children learni...
Article
The last 50 years have witnessed an exponential growth and significant progress in working memory and language sciences research independently and jointly, though a generalizable theory or model that transcends disciplines is still absent from the literature. Drawing on multidisciplinary insights from cognitive science and emerging patterns from la...
Article
The multicomponent model of working memory developed during the period when psycholinguistics was dominated by Chomsky’s transformational grammar and its potential implications. The original model had assumed a limited capacity attentional control system, the central executive, aided by temporary verbal storage from the phonological loop and visuos...
Article
This chapter examines variation patterns across the world's grammars in relation to working memory (WM) models in psycholinguistics. It distinguishes: (1) constrained capacity proposals in which certain limits in WM are used to explain why some grammatical phenomena are (or are supposed to be) nonoccurring; (2) more versus less WM proposals where g...
Article
Working memory based limitations have increasingly been proposed as a way of explaining differences between native (L1) and non-native (L2) sentence processing. However, while there has been increasing interest in the role that working memory may play in L2 sentence processing, different approaches to L2 processing rely on different conceptualisati...
Article
Several children in a typical classroom experience persistent learning difficulties that are likely to reflect weak cognitive skills (Holmes et al., 2020). In some cases, these are related to poor working memory. In this chapter, we discuss how limited working memory resources constrain classroom learning, focusing on the impact of poor working mem...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
Children with developmental language disorder (DLD) show significant difficulties mastering language yet exhibit normal-range nonverbal intelligence, normal hearing and speech, and no neurological impairment. Deficits in sentence comprehension represent a major feature of school-age children’s language profile. So do memory limitations, including d...
Article
This chapter reviews research on the efficacy of training Working Memory (WM) in an educational context. We begin with a brief description of WM, its relation to classroom constructs, an overview of WM training programs, followed by classroom recommendations pertaining to several case studies. We characterize WM training programs into two categorie...
Article
Working Memory (WM) is a central structure maintaining information at short term in face of temporal decay and interference for its processing in ongoing tasks. As a consequence, WM is strongly involved in learning, especially in learning first or second languages. The Time-Based Resource Sharing (TBRS) model describes the functioning and developme...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
Working memory (WM) deficits are fundamental problems of children with average intelligence but with specific learning disorders in reading and/or math. Depending on the task, these deficits manifest themselves as a domain-specific storage constraint (i.e., the inefficient accessing and availability of phonological representations, e.g., numbers, p...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
The relationship between working memory (WM) and second language (L2) reading comprehension has received considerable attention for nearly three decades. Although studies in this line of research generally report a small to moderate relationship between WM and L2 reading comprehension, comparison of studies remains challenging due to the lack of sp...
Article
We view working memory as a general resource in which attention can be allocated to any type of information and stimulus input. One vital skill that requires the use of working memory is the comprehension and production of language. In this chapter, we outline the basis of the embedded-processes model of working memory. We then discuss how the diff...
Article
This chapter addresses the role of verbal working memory (WM) in language production and comprehension, focusing on data from brain-damaged individuals, while also drawing on related findings from healthy adults. The perspective on WM is the domain-specific model which includes WM buffers that are specific to phonological and semantic information a...
Article
Working memory and language are tightly intertwined cognitive systems. Working memory enables language acquisition and vocabulary expansion; it supports both language comprehension and language production. Language, on the other hand, provides key representations that support efficient and robust encoding and maintenance of information in working m...
Article
Many general linguistic theories and language processing frameworks have assumed that language processing is largely a chunking procedure and that it is underpinned and constrained by our memory limitations. Despite this general consensus, the distinction between short-term memory (STM) and working memory (WM) limitations as they relate to language...
Article
Working memory (WM) training explores whether and how repeated practice on working memory tasks might generalize to a variety of outcome measures. Although this field of research is part of the growing literature in cognitive sciences, it has spawned contentious debates. The controversies are largely driven by inconsistent findings and commercial i...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
Research on working memory and language has followed two quite divergent paths. The first line of inquiry examines questions relating to the components and organization of working memory – whether there are specialized buffers, the nature of the link to long-term memory, and so on. For the most part, studies of this type have little to say about th...
Article
This chapter starts by providing brief accounts of both first and second language speaking, and then surveys empirical work, measurement issues, and theory on the use of second language speaking tasks – the sort of tasks, often with real-world connections, used in communicative language classrooms to nurture second language development and performa...
Article
The role of working memory in language learning has received considerable attention, but several pertinent issues remain. One of these concerns the directionality of the relationships between working memory and language learning. Another issue relates to different types of processing and working memory components involved in learning different aspe...
Article
Working memory, as a cognitive function, needs to be understood within the context of the mind as a whole, in other words within a general framework that can connect it to related research and theory. In this chapter we present one such broad view of the mind, the Modular Cognition Framework (MCF), and apply it to the study of working memory, empha...
Article
Drawing on work from cognitive psychology, a vast body of research has examined the role of working memory (WM) in second-language (L2) development, processing, and use (e.g., Linck et al., 2014). Our ability to discern such relationships, however, may be obscured by the different measures of WM that are adopted and employed by L2 researchers. Ther...
Article
We start with a brief review of evidence that verbal working memory (WM) involves a limited capacity phonological loop capable of retaining verbal sequences for a few seconds in immediate serial recall, vocabulary acquisition, speech production, and language comprehension. The challenge of explaining how such a system handles information about seri...
Article
A distinguishing feature of the cognitive process of speech planning is its flexible balancing of speed, quality, and effort. Utterance planning strategies can vary adaptively depending on speaker goals and circumstances. For example, when speed is a priority, the planning process might sacrifice the quality of an utterance by engaging in more incr...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
Working memory is a complex construct and neurological function that includes short-term auditory and visual-spatial storage, information processing, and executive awareness and regulation. An in-depth assessment of working memory should test these diverse components with contemporary standardized measures. Informal procedures, such as interviews a...
Article
The construction of a coherent text mental representation demands multiple comprehension processes such as the activation and maintenance of the most important ideas of the text, the retrieval of related information from long-term memory, the generation of information that has not been explicitly mentioned (e.g., inference making), the detection of...
Article
Bringing together cutting-edge research, this Handbook is the first comprehensive text to examine the pivotal role of working memory in first and second language acquisition, processing, impairments, and training. Authored by a stellar cast of distinguished scholars from around the world, the Handbook provides authoritative insights on work from di...
Article
Full-text available
Although emotional or affective working memory (WM) is quite well established in general psychology, not much research has looked into its potential implications for the language sciences and bilingualism and second language acquisition (SLA) research until recently. To fill this gap, this paper aims to propose that WM has not just cognitive implic...
Chapter
Full-text available
With contributions from the world's most active aptitude researchers and teams, this edited volume provides the most comprehensive, authoritative, and updated developments in language aptitude theory and practice. The most popular language aptitude tests, including the most durable and innovative batteries, are revisited in a timely manner and re-e...
Article
Full-text available
The present paper aims to explore how the critical lens of translanguaging can shed new light on the decolonizing language policy and planning (LPP) issues in Macau. As an illustration, we analyze the Chinese translation of a Portuguese poem, Viola Chinesa , in tandem with the visual art piece by the contemporary Chinese artist Xu Bing’s Square Wor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Working memory and language are integrated and intertwined to such an extent that it has become imperative to understand their interactions. Given their close association, we aim in this chapter to provide a thorough and critical review of the theoretical links between the more specific system of working memory and its relation to native and second...
Book
Full-text available
Reviews and Endorsements: "Theoretically motivated research into aptitude for second language acquisition (SLA) under different conditions of exposure, and at different stages of development and levels of proficiency, is essential for aptitude test development, and for matching learners to optimal conditions of instruction. This book provides the...
Preprint
Given these obvious gaps in the research literature, we thus set out to compile this comprehensive handbook, with the goal in mind to fill up all these lacunae from previous research. Furthermore, we also aim for theoretical ingenuity and empirical robustness in our individual chapter reviews and devote independent sections to key areas of foundati...
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DescriptionContentsResourcesCoursesAbout the Authors Table of Contents 1. Working memory and language: an overview of key topics Part I. Introduction: 2. Working memory and the challenge of language Part II. Theoretical Models and Measures: 3. The evolution of working memory and language 4. The phonological loop as a 'language learning device': an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Originated from the Welsh revitalization education (Williams, 1994) and inspired by such established concepts of languaging (Merril Swain) and multicompetence (Vivian Cook), the concept of translanguaging has emerged as a practical and powerful theory of language education and communication (Li, 2018) to captivate the complex, dynamic, embodied, an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This international conference aims to promote interdisciplinarity in the research on “Cognition and Language” and related studies, constructing a platform for exchange and cooperation on the human sciences in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), promoting interactions between China and Portuguese-speaking countries and the world, t...
Chapter
Full-text available
Abstract: Language aptitude refers to the set of specific abilities that allow us to adequately predict or explain why some people can learn a foreign/second language more efficiently and effectively than their peers when other things being equal. Since its heyday in the late 1950s, the concept of language aptitude and research interest in the top...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
In light of the burgeoning research enthusiasm into interpreting training, this edited volume aims to provide some fresh perspectives featuring innovative research paradigms, in-depth theoretical discussions and practical classroom-and individual-based interpreting training approaches and methods. More importantly, as its subtitle denotes clearly,...
Presentation
Full-text available
The present paper sets out to review the bilingual and multilingual education policy in the Greater Bay Area (GBA) in the light of the emerging translanguaging theory (Li Wei, 2018; Li & Shen, 2021). Specifically, it will discuss the language of instruction (LOI) policy and the use of multiple linguistic codes in the foreign/second language classro...
Preprint
Full-text available
Abstract: Language aptitude refers to the set of specific abilities that allow us to adequately predict or explain why some people can learn a foreign/second language more efficiently and effectively than their peers when other things being equal. Since its heyday in the late 1950s, the concept of language aptitude and research interest in the top...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the roles of both working memory (WM) and more traditional aptitude components, such as input processing and language analytic ability in the context of foreign language learning aptitude. More specifically, the paper compares two current perspectives on language aptitude: the Stages Approach (Skehan, 2016, 2019) and the P/E Mod...
Preprint
Full-text available
Many general linguistic theories and language processing frameworks have assumed that language processing is largely a chunking procedure and that it is underpinned and constrained by our memory limitations. Despite this general consensus, the distinction between short-term memory (STM) and working memory (WM) limitations as they relate to language...
Article
Full-text available
To sum it up, though convening and organising conferences has never been an easy task, they are academic endeavours well worth the effort from even early-career or mid-career TEFL professors like myself. They not only benefit all the speakers and the participants (including readers of the publications) academically, but they also help to sharpen th...
Research Proposal
Derived from such established concepts of languaging (Merril Swain) and multicompetence (Vivian Cook), translanguaging has emerged as a practical and powerful theory of language (Li, 2018) that captivates the complex, dynamic, embodied, and adaptive interactions between human cognition and the superdiverse social-cultural milieu. The past two decad...
Presentation
Full-text available
The present PPT sets out to study the perception of satisfaction in online interpreting teaching and learning (ITL) in the light of the emerging translanguaging theory (Li Wei, 2018; Li & Shen, 2021). Specifically, it will discuss the translanguaging space in interpreting and the multisemiotic and multimodal affordances in online interpreting teach...
Chapter
Full-text available
The term working memory (WM) generally refers to our cognitive ability to simultaneously maintain and process a small amount of information in our head temporarily so as to complete some mental tasks.
Presentation
Working Memory in L2 Research and Practice --Theoretical and Methodological Considerations Available from conference website: https://imkb615.wixsite.com/geta2020conference (with Abstracts, Presentation Video links to Youtube, and slides downloadable) Abstract: Working memory (WM) refers to our cognitive capacity to temporarily and simultaneously...
Presentation
Full-text available
AILA 2020 On its Way!! Dear colleagues, we would like to welcome you all to our AILA 2020 Symposium (S059) on: “Individual Differences in Task-based Performance and Instruction“ to be held in Groningen, the Netherlands, August 11, 2020. Find the preliminary program at: https://www.aila2020.nl/scientific-programme Hope to see you all there and...
Chapter
Full-text available
Building on converging and integrated research insights from multiple disciplines of cognitive sciences and applied linguistics, the current chapter aims to first discuss general characterizations of the cognitive construct of working memory (WM), as well as teasing out controversies and debates besetting its nature and structure. Following this th...
Book
Full-text available
This volume honours Peter Skehan’s landmark contributions to research in Task-Based Language Teaching. It offers state-of-the-art reviews as well as cutting-edge new research studies, all reflective of key theoretical and methodological issues in current research such as the role and nature of task complexity and the distinct dimensions of L2 task...
Preprint
Full-text available
This volume is intended as a festschrift to celebrate the academic achievements of Professor Peter Skehan, a renowned scholar in the broad fields of Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and in particular as a leading researcher in the specific area of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT). As Michael Long states clearly in the F...
Book
Full-text available
This volume honours Peter Skehan's landmark contributions to research in Task-Based Language Teaching. It offers state-of-the-art reviews as well as cutting-edge new research studies, all reflective of key theoretical and methodological issues in current research such as the role and nature of task complexity and the distinct dimensions of L2 task...
Article
Full-text available
The Cambridge Handbook of Language Learning - edited by John W. Schwieter June 2019
Article
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Cambridge Core - Applied Linguistics - The Cambridge Handbook of Language Learning - edited by John W. Schwieter
Chapter
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Chapter 10 WORKING MEMORY AS LANGUAGE APTITUDE: THE PHONOLOGICAL/EXECUTIVE MODEL Zhisheng (Edward) Wen To be published in Wen, Z., Skehan, P., Biedron, A., Li, S. & R. Sparks (2019) Language aptitude: Advancing theory, testing, research and practice. Routledge. Abstract: This chapter examines the proposal of “working memory (WM) as language a...
Book
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Available for Pre-order Now from both Routledge homepage and Amazon etc. https://www.routledge.com/Language-Aptitude-Advancing-Theory-Testing-Research-and-Practice/Wen-Skehan-Biedron-Li-Sparks/p/book/9781138563872 Summary: Language Aptitude: Advancing Theory, Testing, Research and Practice brings together cutting-edge global perspectives on fore...
Book
Full-text available
Reviews (Michael Long) "Language aptitudes are reliable predictors of rate of classroom foreign language learning and of level of ultimate attainment in naturalistic SLA. Aptitude is a central interest in the field, therefore, as reflected both in increasingly detailed analyses of the construct itself and in the development of several new aptitude...
Preprint
Full-text available
...The International Roundtable Forum on ‘Language Aptitude’ was successfully held at the Macao Polytechnic Institute and the University of Macau between 6-9 June 2017. During the forum, most contributing authors to the current volume (except for a few who could not attend) presented their individual chapters and participated actively in the roundt...
Chapter
Full-text available
The increasing body of empirical studies investigating the role of working memory (WM) in second language acquisition (SLA) has given rise to a positive yet inconclusive relationship between putative WM functions and corresponding SLA processes and learning outcomes. Although theories and assessment procedures of WM have become increasingly sophist...

Questions

Questions (4)
Question
I have a question for you all , if you can take just a few minutes to respond, I shall be highly appreciate it.
Over the years, I have noticed that L2/SLA researchers are not as interested in investigating learning to read a new language as they are in investigating learning to speak and listening comprehend the language. While there is some interest in L2 writing, there seems to be more interest in writing than reading. I have found that interesting because, in L1, there are very strong relationships between reading and writing skills. Two questions:
1. Are my perceptions accurate?
2. If so, what is the reason(s)?
I asked another researcher, and here is the response:
Re. L2 researchers not being interested in reading, I'm not sure that's true across the board. Depending on the researcher's focus, they may be interested in the initial stages of learning, and there the focus would indeed be more on the basic building blocks of morphosyntax, the lexicon and/or phonology, but others are interested in more advanced stages as well and would then look at different skills, including reading. But I guess it would be correct to say that most work with educated participants and therefore treat reading (and writing) as a skill like any other, i.e. it's not got a special status compared with listening (and speaking). A few researchers are specifically interested in L2 reading only, e.g. those looking at strategies etc.
Your feedback is very welcome and any references are appreciated.
Thanks,
Edward on Behalf of:
Prof Richard Sparks
Question
Hi Everyone (esp. colleagues working in the fields of Foreign language education and second language acquisition research),I am posting here two questions here from Prof. Richard Sparks (Mount St Joseph University) about the research traditions for Individual Differences in language learning.First, does anyone know of a recent book or comprehensive literature review on the topic of Individual Differences (IDs) in language learning. I have the books or reviews by Ellis (2003), Dornyei (2005), Dornyei and Skehan (2003), Robinson (2002), as well as several others. But when searching the literature, I have not yet found anything more recent, say after 2009-10. I have the book from the 2011 conference in the Netherlands, our chapters from our recent conference in Macau (Wen, Skehan, Biedron, Li & Sparks, 2018), and Hulstijn's book. The latter three books focus mostly on language aptitude and language variables. Do you know of something that has been published recently?
Second, in my work, I move back and forth between reading foreign language education research in the states and SLA research. The former research discusses language variables in L2 learning but also focuses extensively on affective and social variables (motivation, anxiety, learning strategies, learning styles, learner beliefs, etc.). In fact, the foreign language education research here does not focus heavily on language aptitude and language variables as explanations for IDs in L2 learning. However, SLA research appears to focus more on aptitude and cognitive variables for IDs in L2 learning. Is this a fair characterization of these two different fields of inquiry (SLA vs. FL education)? If so, is it fair to speculate that SLA research has "moved on" from affective and social variables as primary areas of interest in L2 learning and instead the field is focusing more (albeit not exclusively) on language aptitude and other cognitive (e.g., working memory) variables? Since I also write and focus heavily on L1 research and am an "outsider" in L2, I want to confirm whether my reading of the literature is accurate or whether I am just being selective in my reading.
Any assistance that you can provide would be much appreciated.
Thank you,
Richard
Richard Sparks
Mount St Joseph University
Question
Hi Everyone (esp. colleagues working in the fields of Foreign language education and second language acquisition research),
I am posting here two questions here from Prof. Richard Sparks (Mount St Joseph University) about the research traditions for Individual Differences in language learning.
First, does anyone know of a recent book or comprehensive literature review on the topic of Individual Differences (IDs) in language learning. I have the books or reviews by Ellis (2003), Dornyei (2005), Dornyei and Skehan (2003), Robinson (2002), as well as several others. But when searching the literature, I have not yet found anything more recent, say after 2009-10. I have the book from the 2011 conference in the Netherlands, our chapters from our recent conference in Macau (Wen, Skehan, Biedron, Li & Sparks, 2018), and Hulstijn's book. The latter three books focus mostly on language aptitude and language variables. Do you know of something that has been published recently?
Second, in my work, I move back and forth between reading foreign language education research in the states and SLA research. The former research discusses language variables in L2 learning but also focuses extensively on affective and social variables (motivation, anxiety, learning strategies, learning styles, learner beliefs, etc.). In fact, the foreign language education research here does not focus heavily on language aptitude and language variables as explanations for IDs in L2 learning. However, SLA research appears to focus more on aptitude and cognitive variables for IDs in L2 learning. Is this a fair characterization of these two different fields of inquiry (SLA vs. FL education)? If so, is it fair to speculate that SLA research has "moved on" from affective and social variables as primary areas of interest in L2 learning and instead the field is focusing more (albeit not exclusively) on language aptitude and other cognitive (e.g., working memory) variables? Since I also write and focus heavily on L1 research and am an "outsider" in L2, I want to confirm whether my reading of the literature is accurate or whether I am just being selective in my reading.
Any assistance that you can provide would be much appreciated.
Thank you, Richard
Richard Sparks
Mount St Joseph University
Question
I am currently wrapping up a chapter on 'Working memory as language aptitude: the Phonological/Executive Model', in which I develop the argument based on previous research that phonological WM (PWM) is a language acquisition device that subserves L2 knowledge of vocabulary, formulaic sequences (formula), and morpho-syntactic constructions; while executive WM is a language processing device that regulates and coordinates attentional resources during L2 comprehension and production activities (esp. online and offline processes during the four sub-skills of L2 listening, speaking, reading, and writing) (more can be seen in Wen, 2015, 2016)..
Meanwhile, I also argue that it is better to implement separate WM span tasks for PWM and EWM, such that, the simple (storage-only) version of memory span tasks (e.g., the digit span, nonword span etc.), while complex (storage plus processing) span tasks (e.g., reading span task, operation span task...) should be used to measure EWM (Wen, 2012 & 2014).
These are old stuff, I am also arguing that future EWM tests should focus on more fine-grained (secondary) mechanisms and executive functions of WM. In this case, following Miyake & Friedman (2012), EWM can be demarcated into information updating, task switching, and inhibitory control. I wonder, if anyone can give me more insights, if we want to adopt well-established tasks to measure each of these executive functions in a second language/bilingualism contexts. In other words, what might be the most well-established tasks? The recent paper by Indrarathne & Kormos (2018) has provided a nice reference and a good example. Still, I wish to check if there are other key references that I can refer to (esp from cognitive psychology or psycholinguistics). For now, I am arguing for adopting the 'Running memory span' task (Bunting et al., 2006) or the 'Keep track task' for measuring updating; Task switching numbers (Linck et al., 2013) or the 'Plus minus task' for measuring task switching; Antisacade or the Stroop task for measuring inhibitory control. How would these sound (advantages and disadvantages?).
Shall be very grateful if anyone can offer me some insights or refer me to some key references (I've got some in my own repertoire of references provided in other projects, which is available for all to download), but still wish to hear more for my consideration.
Thanks in advance for your input!
Edward

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