Individual Differences in Signed Word Learning Among Hearing Adults
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The present study was conducted in order to identify predictors of signed word learning in hearing non-signers. 107 hearing non-signing adults participated, completing a sign-word paired associate learning task, two visuospatial, and three movement-based short-term memory (STM) tasks. Bivariate and semipartial correlations were derived and regression analyses conducted with the paired-associate task as the outcome variable. Results suggest movement-based and visuospatial STM are significantly and independently related to signed word learning. Additionally, a sign-based phonetic discrimination task accounted for variance in sign learning over and above movement-based STM, suggesting that phonetic discrimination is related to word learning. The results of this study have implications for theories of STM, language aptitude, and second language pedagogy.