Available Online: 17 August 2021
Democritus University of Thrace, Greece (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This study investigated the effect of executive functions (EF) (inhibition, working memory and updating) on definitional skills of learners with and without Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). A good/formal definition elicits the highest number of inferences at the lowest cost. Many theories about mental lexicon organization suggest that specific words are activated and/or suppressed. Nevertheless, very limited studies have attempted to examine whether similar procedures occur in the development of definitional skills. Previous studies indicated that learners with DLD have lower EF and definitional skills, which, however, do not correlate. In contrast, a link between EF and definitional skills arise in non-impaired learners. In this study, thirty-six learners divided into three groups (a DLD and two age- and vocabulary-matched control groups; CG) were tested through a definitional and three EF tasks. The two CGs produced better definitions than the DLD group. Moreover, age-matched CG scored higher than the other groups in EF tasks, while the vocabulary-matched CG outperformed the DLD only in updating. Correlations between definitions and EF emerged only in the age-matched CG. Concluding, EF and definitional skills of the DLD group seem to be deviant; while the link between EF and definitional skills may require more time to emerge in DLD learners, since it was also not found in the vocabulary-matched CG. Nevertheless, it was found in the other CG, suggesting that forming a good definition irrelevant words should be suppressed, appropriate words and form should be recalled, and useless information should be discarded.
Keywords: inhibitory control, verbal working memory, updating, definitional skills, developmental language disorder
Cite this article:
Dosi, I. (2021). The impact of inhibitory control, working memory and updating on definitional skills of learners with and without Developmental Language Disorder. International Journal of Research Studies in Education, 10(13), 97-107. https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrse.2021.a055