عنوان مقاله [English]
The purpose of the present study is to identify the challenges of students with learning difficulties in solving mathematical word problems based on working memory function. The subjects of this study were 7 students (2 girls and 5 boys), aged 7 to 8 years, who were identified as learning disabled in the Learning Disabilities Center of Takestan City, and voluntarily participated in this study. At the beginning, the forward spatial span, backward digit span, and forward digit span tests from the WISC-IV (Kamkari and Shokrzadeh, 2013) were applied to determine the working memory capacity of the students. Then, these students participated in the task-based interview and answered the "arithmetic" test items from Kamkari and Shokrzadeh (2013). After transcribing the recorded interviews, the data were analyzed using inductive content analysis. The results showed that students face five major challenges in solving word problems, which are "relying on fingers to calculate", "difficulty in performing mathematical operations", "difficulty in storing information", "difficulty in understanding the questions", and "difficulty in paying attention and concentration". The results of this study suggest that these students' greatest challenge in solving word problems is related to the defect of the phonological loop of working memory. Thus, it seems that students resort to the visuospatial sketchpad to compensate for this defect, which in turn leads to a greater strengthening of working memory. To strengthen the phonological loop, verbal working memory interventions are recommended, such as training mental repetition, repeating spoken sentences, listening to children's stories and poems in preschool.