Keywords: Word learning, working memory, phonological memory, phonological sensitivity, vocabulary knowledge
Nonword learning is a common experimental paradigm to study vocabulary learning. It has been suggested that phonological memory is a key factor both for children learning words of their native language and adults learning the vocabulary of a second language. We assume that nonword learning is a multicomponential phenomenon, because phonological memory can be decomposed into three constructs (phonological sensitivity, rehearsal efficiency, and central attentional resources); furthermore, other abilities such as current vocabulary knowledge are involved in learning new words. The results from 161 Italian children (8-11 years) support these hypotheses.