Working memory and reading comprehension abilities in grade 4 boys.
The purpose of this study was to research the relationship between working memory and reading comprehension abilities in grade 4 boys. The need for this research can be traced, in part, to the poor performance of learners in literacy in South Africa. It has become imperative to explore ways of enhancing learners’ ability to extract meaning from what they read and to give them the tools to enable them to be lifelong learners. Currently, there seems to be little research regarding working memory and reading comprehension ability conducted within a South African context. Accordingly, this study sought to better understand why learners do not always respond to reading intervention and to identify the specific educational needs that should be addressed in the classroom. This study used the Hodder Group Reading Test and The Automated Working Memory Assessment (AWMA) to evaluate the learners’ working memory and reading comprehension abilities. Data for this research was then analysed using statistical methods. The data analysis demonstrated a positive linear relationship between reading comprehension and working memory in grade 4 boys i.e. as reading comprehension increases so does working memory. It is hoped that the knowledge gained in this study will add to South African perceptions regarding working memory and reading performance.