NWORD: Nonword Memory span


Test of non-words memory span for Turkish-Dutch children.

Target group of this test is Turkish-Dutch children. This is a series of four experimental tasks, which preferably all four should be taken (but not necessarily in a row). The series of tasks is meant to determine the memory for non-words in children of Turkish origin in the Netherlands. The series consists of the following tasks:

  • NL: Non words similar to Dutch words, e.g. blig
  • NU: Nonwords not resembling Dutch words, e.g. dwiw
  • TL: Nonwords similar to Turkish words, e.g. feƧ
  • TU: Nonwords not similar to Turkish words, e.g. rocl

Each task contains stimulus sequences with length 1 to 4, and of each series length there are 4 different series. In principle, 16 series are presented per task. The presentation of the stimuli, instructions and feedback is done acoustically via the computer. The scoring of a reproduced sequence occurs subjectively by the test leader by pressing a key or clicking a button on the screen (Good or False). For the convenience of the test leader, the series can also be presented visually on the screen (see figure above).

Preferably only one task is taken at a time; a different task next time. By default, the program randomly chooses a task from tasks that have not (yet) been done by the child, but tasks can also be taken separately. Each task is preceded by an exercise phase, in which a given sequence can be repeated if necessary.

In tasks NL and NU (Dutch-language non-verbs) the instruction is always given in Dutch. For the Turkish non-verbs (tasks TL and TU), the test supervisor can choose between Dutch or Turkish instruction, which also comes out of the computer acoustically.

A child is presented with all 4 items within a set (series length). It is possible to set a break-off rule: the default setting is to abort the task after 3 errors.

In reporting the results, a total score is calculated based on the administration of all 4 tasks and a memory span score, averaged across all tasks that have been taken. Normative information has been gathered from 122 Turkish-Dutch children aged 4-6 years old.