Effects of Note Taking and Working Memory Span on Listening Comprehension of Japanese Sentences among Chinese Students Learning Japanese
We examined the effects of note taking on listening comprehension of Japanese sentences in an advanced class of Chinese students learning Japanese as a second language. We conducted an experiment to examine how working memory capacity is related to the performance of listening comprehension when note taking. We divided the participants into two groups: one group took notes during the listening comprehension; the other group did not. The main results were as follows: (1) participants with low working-memory capacity demonstrated better performance when note taking; (2) participants with high working-memory capacity showed better performance when they were not taking notes. Because the rehearsal effect occurs with visualized language information in note taking, it leaves a stronger memory trace than when not taking notes; this is particularly true for learners with low working-memory capacity. The results suggest that Chinese students learning Japanese with a high working-memory capacity can appropriately distribute their attention to processing and maintaining auditory language information by taking or not taking notes.
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