Correlations between working memory capacity and EFL reading comprehension: an investigation with Brazilian university students


  • Davi Alves Oliveira Universidade do Estado da Bahia
  • Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina


capacidade de memória de trabalho, compreensão leitora em inglês como língua estrangeira, tempo de leitura, ritmo de compreensão


Reading in a foreign language is considered a high cognitive function, believed, thus, to impose demands on working memory resources. Studies have shown significant correlations between working memory capacity and foreign language reading comprehension, but its underlying mechanisms are still open to discussion. This article reports on a study whose objective was to investigate possible correlations between working memory capacity and foreign language reading comprehension considering the knowledge of the first language as a possible source of interference. A recall task was conducted in two conditions, one in which readers performed the task in English and another, in Portuguese. Results showed a weak but statistically significant correlation between working memory capacity and recall scores in the second condition and no correlations between working memory capacity and reading time. Exploratory data analyses suggested that the correlation observed was influenced by foreign language reading proficiency and that the ratio of recall scores to reading time is a better measure of comprehension efficiency.

Biografia do Autor

Davi Alves Oliveira, Universidade do Estado da Bahia

Técnico em Informática (IFBA), Licenciado em Letras (UNEB) e Mestre em Inglês: Estudos Linguísticos e Literários (UFSC). Atua como Professor Substituto no Departamento de Ciências Humanas, Campus IV (UNEB)

Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Mestre em Letras (Inglês e Literatura Correspondente) (UFSC) e Doutora em Letras (Linguística Aplicada) (UFSC). É Professora Titular do Departamento de Língua e Literatura Estrangeiras da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, atuando no Programa de Pós-Graduação em Inglês: Estudos Linguísticos e Literários.


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Como Citar

Alves Oliveira, D., & Braga Tomitch, L. M. (2021). Correlations between working memory capacity and EFL reading comprehension: an investigation with Brazilian university students. Ciências & Cognição, 26(1). Recuperado de



Artigos Científicos / Scientific Articles