Enhancing the efficiency of working memory the

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Unformatted text preview: lable working memory capacity is dedicated to decoding, and this Manuscript 9/28/03 25 adversely affects the comprehension processes needed to develop meaning (Laberge & Samuels, 1974). Enhancing the efficiency of working memory. The processing limitations of working memory is a serious problem for learners. However, there are ways to enhance the processing efficiency of working memory. One way that learners can enhance working-memory efficiency is to use memory strategies. Memory Strategies are techniques that can be used to improve a cognitive performance. Two strategies that can be used to improve the efficiency of working memory are maintenance rehearsal and chunking. If information is not kept active in working memory, it will be lost. Maintenance rehearsal is the process of repeating information over and over to keep it active in working memory. This is a common strategy used by many people when they need to remember some piece of information for a short period of time. For example, you my have had the experience of looking up a phone number and then walking to a different room to use a phone. In such situational many people will repeat the number over and over until they are able to dial the number. Chunking is a second memory strategy that can have the effect of enhancing working memory efficiency, and involves grouping information into larger meaningful pieces of information. As you may recall from our discussion of working memory, the capacity of working memory is limited to approximately 7 chunks of information. However, the actual amount of information in a chunk may vary. For example, to a learner reading a textbook, a prefix could be a chunk, an entire word could be a chunk, and/or a phrase could also be a chunk. Teachers of beginning readers will often make use of this idea by having these readers memorize sight words. These are words that can be recognized on sight, and which do not have to be decoded sound by sound (e, g, the, and, Manuscript 9/28/03 26 was). Each sight word, therefore, is a chunk, and knowledge of sight words reduces the number of words which have to be sounded out by the reader. The net effect is to reduce the amount of working memory capacity needed for decoding. Consider how this idea is used by Ella Milos. ⇒ I always have a pre-reading exercise in class before we begin reading a new story. I begin by providing the students with a list of three or four words and their definitions that I think are likely to be unfamiliar to the children. Then the children complete an exercise in which they use the words to complete a set of sentences. Finally they write sentences of their own using each of the words on the list. In addition to the use of memory strategies, another way learner deal with the limited processing capacity of working memory is develop appropriate procedural knowledge representations. Procedural representation is appropriate for routine mental or physical skills that are likely to be used consistently in specific circumstances to accom...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.

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