BACKGROUND Phonological working memory and typical language development in children. AIM To describe and discuss findings of researches concerning the assessment of phonological working memory in normally developing children undertaken since the 1980's. AIM To present a systematic literature review regarding the phonological working memory and its relationship with normal language development. METHOD A systematic review of the literature on phonological working memory and its relationship with language development skills of normal children was made. The used material involved books, monographs, thesis, dissertations and articles stored in Lilacs, Pubmed, Scielo and Medline databases. An analysis was made considering the applied tests and the results regarding the effects of extension and age and the relationship of these variables with phonological working memory for speakers of English and the Brazilian Portuguese language. CONCLUSION According to the consulted literature, studies indicate a relationship between the phonological and lexical knowledge and the phonological working memory in children with normal language development.