L2 Japanese Proficiency and Working Memory Capacity

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Ohio State University. Libraries

Research Projects

Organizational Units

Journal Issue


This paper presents a newly created L2 Japanese Speaking Span Test (L2JSST) and reports preliminary results on its validity based on ten English-speaking learners of Japanese. Intermediate-high to advanced Japanese learners took two Japanese language proficiency tests, the L2JSST, and the L1 English Speaking Span Test (L1ESST). The results show that individuals with higher L1ESST scores tend to have higher L2JSST scores. Language proficiency also correlates with the L2JSST scores. Although a high accuracy rate was overserved in produced sentences from L2JSST, when prosody is considered, some prosodic errors were noticeable, such as a low success rate of producing proper downsteps, and pronunciation errors. As the prosodic difficulty in L2 Japanese was reported by Goss and Nakayama (2011), the acquisition of prosody seems challenging for speakers of intermediate to advanced Japanese.



Working memory, L2 Japanese speaking span test, English speaking span test, Japanese proficiency test, Minimum Japanese test, prosody


Hattori, Yuki. "L2 Japanese Proficiency and Working Memory Capacity." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 7 (August 2023), p. 69-76.