Investigating Executive Working Memory and Phonological Short-Term Memory in Relation to Fluency and Self-Repair Behavior in L2 Speech

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, p.1–19 (2016)





Executive working memory, Fluency, hesitation phenomena, L2 speech production, Phonological short-term memory, Self-repair behavior, Working memory capacity


This paper reports the findings of a study investigating the relationship of executive working memory (WM) and phonological short-term memory (PSTM) to fluency and self-repair behavior during an unrehearsed oral task performed by second language (L2) speakers of English at two levels of proficiency, elementary and lower intermediate. Correlational analyses revealed a negative relationship between executive WM and number of pauses in the lower intermediate L2 speakers. However, no reliable association was found in our sample between executive WM or PSTM and self-repair behavior in terms of either frequency or type of self-repair. Taken together, our findings suggest that while executive WM may enhance performance at the conceptualization and formulation stages of the speech production process, self-repair behavior in L2 speakers may depend on factors other than working memory.