Measuring bilingual working memory capacity of professional Auslan/English interpreters: a comparison of two scoring methods
The evaluation of working memory capacity (WMC) in signed language interpreters represents a noticeable research gap in both cognitive psychology and interpreting studies. This study compared two scoring methods – total items and proportion items – for an English listening span task and an Auslan (Australian Sign Language) working memory (WM) span task, which were administered to 31 professional Auslan/English interpreters. Given the small sample size, results reveal that the total items measure was marginally better than the proportion items measure in terms of psychometric properties. When used for statistical analyses of the interpreters’ bilingual WMC, the two scoring methods yielded the same result pattern occasionally, but they also produced discrepant outcomes at times. Unlike the proportion items measure, the total items measure did not reveal statistically significant results. The total items measure was chosen as the final scoring method for this study only. These findings indicate that researchers need to be aware of methodological issues when they create and score WM span tasks.
The Interpreters' Newsletter
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Jemina Napier, Jihong Wang , "Measuring bilingual working memory capacity of professional Auslan/English interpreters: a comparison of two scoring methods", in: The Interpreters' Newsletter, 19 (2014), pp. 45-62.