Language aptitude studies have recently been noticed to develop into a modern interdisciplinary research topic with a great enthusiasm related to educational psychology, second language learning, and cognitive neuroscience, especially with regard to working memory. Moreover, because in the process of teaching and learning, lexical knowledge has a leading role which may be touched by the differences that are observed in the degree of the working memory and the learner’s aptitude. This study was organized to explore the significance of the difference between the working memory and language aptitude among Iranian foreign language learners in relation to the retention of new vocabulary items. For this end, 47 Iranian EFL learners studying at grade nine were randomly chosen from different high schools in different districts in Saravan, Iran. In this study, a LLAMA test was applied to measure the participant’s language aptitude, an N-back test to measure working memory and Vocabulary Knowledge Scale for measuring knowledge of vocabulary. Mann-Whitney U test was used to answer the research questions since the assumptions of parametric tests did not met. The results revealed that learners who had a higher working memory and higher language aptitude had similarly better performances in the retention of new vocabulary items. The present investigation offers some speculative and performative visions for not only teachers, but also researchers mainly involved in the studies of language and mind.


Language Aptitude, Working Memory, Retention of New Vocabulary Items, Iranian EFL Learners,


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