Language, Cognition, the Enriched Environment and Dementia: A New Role for TESL
In this paper we introduce the cognitive development modality Cognitive Neuroeducation (CNE) and a new role for teaching English as a second language (TESL) as a method of cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with dementia. To promote the stimulation of the widest possible array of cognitive functioning in our work here in Japan with CNE, we have developed a form of CBI (content-based instruction) and CLIL (content and language integrated learning) combining English-language learning with stories, drama skits, and dialog-based learning activities for native Japanese speakers with learning/cognitive disorder, whereby, in a strictly English-language environment, we interrogate the ‘texts‘ of communication and expression (oral, written, or graphic) in stories, imagery and discussions, to deeply delve into the underlying meaning embodied therein through learning about the history, art, culture, science, biography, philosophy, religion, etc., that constitutes, impacts, or reflects on the context of a literary work, artwork or any text and its authorship presented in a particular lesson, seamlessly integrating language and subject learning in an interactive group discourse. In this method learners are exposed to a considerable amount of language and range of subject matter through stimulating content, and by exploring this content become engaged in language-dependent activities by which language learning becomes an automatic, integral process in reaction to the continual introduction of novelty and the resolution of curiosity in joint activities incorporating study and discourse.
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