Reading and Writing

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 333–360 | Cite as

Text composition by deaf and hearing middle-school students: The role of working memory

  • Denis Alamargot
  • Eric Lambert
  • Claire Thebault
  • Christophe Dansac


The aim of this study was to compare the compositional performances of deaf and hearing students and to investigate the relationships between these performances and working memory capacities. Fifteen prelingually deaf, sign-using students and 15 hearing students composed a descriptive text and performed working memory tasks. The deaf students had poorer compositional performances in terms of fluency and spelling. They also displayed shorter writing and phonological spans. Correlations indicate that greater visuospatial capacity is associated with better conceptual processing in hearing students, but with an increase in grammatical errors in both deaf and hearing students. In the conclusion, we evoke ways of improving writing skills in deaf students in relation to working memory.


Deafness Writing Text production Spelling Working memory 


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We would like to thank the reviewers for their interesting comments, which have enabled us to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Denis Alamargot
    • 1
  • Eric Lambert
    • 2
  • Claire Thebault
    • 3
  • Christophe Dansac
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory “Language, Memory and Cognitive Development” UMR-CNRS, University of Poitiers, MSHSPoitiersFrance
  2. 2.Laboratory “Language, Memory and Cognitive Development”, UMR-CNRS, Graduate School for TeachersPoitiersFrance
  3. 3.Institute for Deaf ChildrenPoitiersFrance
  4. 4.Laboratory “Work and Cognition”, UMR-CNRS, University of ToulouseToulouseFrance

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