DefinitionA working memory is a process that involves storing, focusing attention on, and manipulating information for a relatively short period of time, such as a few seconds (Working Memory. 2018). The working memory has three functions which includes, encoding, storage and retrieval. There are also two types of working memory, one being auditory memory and the other would be visual-spatial memory. An example would be when a child has a weak working memory, they would find it harder to digest information and this would result in the child having lesser material to work with when they are working on a piece of work. A child with a weak working memory would also find it difficult to pay attention, reading comprehensions and remember instructions. Influence of Bilingual Experiences on Working Memory According to Baker, it is known that the effects of bilingualism on the cognitive development used to be a controversial topic, among many linguistics, and also concerned parents and educators (Baker, C.
M, 2013, p. 8). Many of these parents and educators wonder if it would be practical to raise or educate their children bilingually.
However, in Peal and Lambert’s (1962) study (as cited by Baker, 2013), the results showed that the bilinguals performed better than the monolinguals on a number of IQ tests. Hence, there was a significant amount of connection between bilingualism and the cognitive development. The working memory is a short-term memory. Hence, instead of all information going into one single store, there are different systems for different types of information. Firstly, there is the central executive system whereby it drives the whole system and helps to distribute data into the subsystems which is the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketchpad. According to McLeod (1970, January 01), the function of the central executive system is also to deal with cognitive tasks such as mental arithmetics and problem-solving. Secondly, there is the visuospatial sketchpad whereby it stores and processes data through visual or spatial form, for example, shapes and colours. This likewise enables us to manipulate pictures in our mind and this can be found in a round of Tetris, as one pivots a shape to perceive how it may fit or show up from an alternate point.
The visuospatial sketchpad is also commonly used for navigating from one place to another or when giving directions to someone else. Lastly, the phonological loop is a part of the working memory that deals with articulation and written material. How Working Memory is Measured for Young Children There are various ways to measure working memory in children.
The working memory is a key cognitive function in order for someone to hold information in mind, and at the same time manipulating the information stored.