Quomodo Dicitur? The Importance of Memory in Language Learning

Jacqueline Carlon
Abstract of Article: 

Second language acquisition (SLA) research results have substantially transformed the way languages are taught in the classroom, with a significant shift away from rote learning toward the creation of a communicative classroom environment. Yet communication is impossible without lexical and morphological competency. SLA researchers have begun to investigate the role of working memory in language acquisition, a field largely left previously to cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists. Much of SLA research in this area thus far has focused on the learning of English as a second language, but the findings have clear implications for the Latin classroom. This article provides a survey of recent research results, particularly as they pertain to learning vocabulary, and offers some ways in which Latin instructors can modify their pedagogy in order to optimize for their students both the acquisition and the retention of vocabulary. Also included are some activities with which teachers may begin to incorporate learning strategies that have proven to be effective.