The effect of verbal and visuospatial working memory spans on collocation processing in learners of English

Jafar Mohammad Amini, Mohammad Momenian, Reza Ghafar Samar

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Much interest has recently been directed toward the knowledge of collocations in the field of second language learning since they have been asserted to improve fluency. The current study was intended to examine the effect of verbal and visuospatial working memory spans on the processing of collocations using a Self-Pace Reading Task (SPRT) and relevant working memory tasks. To this end, participants were divided into two distinct groups (high vs. low) based on their scores in the verbal and visuospatial memory tasks. The results of the analyses revealed that there was not a statistically significant difference between high and low verbal memory groups in the processing of collocations. However, a significant difference was witnessed between high and low visuospatial memory groups in their reaction time. These results have important implications for the multi-word processing models and the way collocations should be taught in the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-186
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of English Language Teaching and Learning
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Verbal Working Memory (VWM)
  • Visuo-Spatial Working Memory (VSWM)
  • restricted collocations
  • retrieval speed (of collocations)
  • self-paced reading

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