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ERIC Number: EJ944141
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-1481-868X
Languaging as Agent and Constituent of Cognitive Change in an Older Adult: An Example
Swain, Merrill; Lapkin, Sharon
Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics / Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquee, v14 n1 p104-117 2011
Vygotsky's writings have established the critical importance of language in the development of higher mental functions, including memory and attention. One of the processes involved in this development is languaging, the activity of mediating cognitively complex ideas using language (Swain, 2006). The present study of an older adult with mild cognitive impairment living in a long-term care facility involves Alise (the resident) narrating a fragment of her life history. We investigate the hypothesis that languaging will restore aspects of cognitive functioning through a microgenetic analysis of ten recorded sessions totaling 18 hours of conversation between Alise and the researcher. We demonstrate that languaging mediates Alise's ability to recall details of the life history fragment she is recounting with increasing syntactic and lexical sophistication, thus documenting cognitive change. (Contains 1 figure and 2 footnotes.)
Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics / Association canadienne de linguistique appliquee. Departement de langues, linguistique et traduction, Pavillon de Koninck, Universite Laval, Quebec, QC G1K 7P4, Canada. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A