Autobiographic episodes as languaging: Affective and cognitive changes in an older adult
Issue: Vol 1 No. 1 (2014)
Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory
The purpose of our program of research is to explore the role of languaging on the part of older adults residing in long-term care facilities. We suggest that languaging-based activities can enhance the quality of life of such older adults including aspects of their cognition and affect. Languaging is the use of language to mediate cognitive and affective processes (Swain, 2006, 2010). In this case study, Mary (a resident) engages in the effortful re-construction of autobiographic episodes. Through microgenetic analysis we document changes in Mary’s emotional response to recreating aspects of her life history, and a change in her cognition involving a shift from other- to self-regulation in her ability to remember past events. We argue that Mary’s narration of past events (a type of languaging) is related to her positive affective and cognitive changes; this is consistent with Vygotsky’s view that cognition and affect are inextricably intertwined.
Author: Kyoko Motobayashi, Merrill Swain, Sharon Lapkin
Adams, C., Smith, M., Pasupathi, M. and Vitolo, L. (2002). Social context effects on story recall in older and younger women: Does the listener make a difference? The Journals of Gerontology: Series B (57B-1): 28–40.
Barkaoui, K., Swain, M. and Lapkin, S. (2011). Examining the quality of measures of change in cognition and affect for older adults: Two case studies. Journal of Aging Studies 25 (1): 62–72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2010.08.004
Bavelas, J. B., Coates, L. and Johnson, T. (2000). Listeners as co-narrators. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 79 (6): 941–951. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2061
Bluck, S. and Habermas, T. (2001). Extending the study of autobiographic memory: Thinking back around life across the life span. Review of General Psychology 5 (2): 135–147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1089-26220.127.116.11
Bower, G. H. (1981). Mood and memory. American Psychologist 36 (2):129–148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.36.2.129
Bruce, D. and Read, J. D. (1998). Autobiographic memory: Themes and variations. In C. P. Thompson, D. J. Herrmann, D. Bruce, J. D. Read, D. G. Payne and M. P. Toglia (eds), Autobiographic Memory: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, 3–12. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Conway, M .A. and Playdell-Pearce, C. W. (2000). The construction of autobiographic memories in the self-memory system. Psychological Review 107 (2): 261–288. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-295X.107.2.261
Coupland, N., Coupland, J. and Giles, H. (1991). Language, Society, and the Elderly: Discourse, Identity and Ageing. Oxford: Blackwell.
Dixon, R. A. and Gould, O. N. (1996). Adults telling and retelling stories collaboratively. In P. B. Baltes and U. M. Staudinger (eds), Interactive Minds: Life-span Perspectives on the Social Foundation of Cognition, 221–241. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Fivush, R. and Haden, C. A. (2003). Introduction: autobiographic memory, narrative and self. In Fivush, R. and Haden, C. A. (eds), Autobiographic Memory and the Construction of a Narrative Self: Developmental and Cultural Perspectives, vii–xiv. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Folstein, M., Folstein, S. E. and McHugh, P. R. (1975). ‘Mini-Mental State’: A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research 12 (3): 189–198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6
Guerrero, M. C. M. de (2013). Private speech in second language acquisition. In C. Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Gutiérrez, A. G. (2008). Microgenesis, method and object: A study of collaborative activity in a Spanish as a foreign language classroom. Applied Linguistics 29 (1): 120–148. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/applin/amm032
Hummert, M. L. and Ryan, E. B. (1996). Toward understanding variations in patronizing talk addressed to older adults: Psycholinguistic features of care and control. International Journal of Psycholinguistics 12: 149–169.
Kemper, S. (1994). Elderspeak: Speech accommodations to older adults. Aging and Cognition 1 (1): 17–28.
Kemper, S. and Harden, R. (1999). Experimentally disentangling what’s beneficial about elderspeak from what’s not. Psychology and Aging 14 (4): 656–670. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0882-7918.104.22.1686
Lantolf, J. P. (ed.) (2000). Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lantolf, J. P. and Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second Language Development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lapkin, S., Swain, M. and Psyllakis, P. (2010). The role of languaging in creating zones of proximal development (ZPDs): A long-term care resident interacts with a researcher. Canadian Journal on Aging 29 (4): 23–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0714980810000644
Lenchuk, I. and Swain, M. (2010). Alise’s small stories: Indices of identity construction and of resistance to the discourse of cognitive impairment. Language Policy 9 (1): 9–28. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10993-009-9149-4
McAdams, D. P. (2003). Identity and the life history. In R. Fivush and C. A. Haden (eds), Autobiographic Memory and the Construction of a Narrative Self: Developmental and Cultural Perspectives, 187–207. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Muguruma, Y. (2012). Odoroki no kaigo minzoku gaku [Insights from folkloristics of care]. Tokyo: Igaku Shoin.
Pasupathi, M., Stallworth, L. M. and Murdoch, K. (1998). How what we tell becomes what we know: Listener effects on speakers’ long-term memory for events. Discourse Processes 26 (1): 1–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01638539809545035
Pasupathi, M., Weeks, T. and Rice, C. (2006). Reflecting on life: Remembering as a major process in adult development. Journal of Language and Social Psychology 25: 244–263. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0261927X06289425
Rubin, D.C. (1998). Beginnings of a theory of autobiographic remembering. In C. P. Thompson, D. J. Herrmann, D. Bruce, J. D. Read, D. G. Payne and M. P. Toglia (eds), Autobiographic Memory: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives, 47–67. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Ryan, E. B., Giles, H., Bartolucci, R. Y. and Henwood, K. (1986). Psycholinguistic and social psychological components of communication by and with the elderly. Language and Communication 6 (1–2): 1–24. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0271-5309(86)90002-9
Ryan, E. B. and Schindel Martin, L. (in press). Using narrative to foster personhood in dementia. In P. Backhaus (ed.), Communication in Elderly Care. London: Continuum Press.
Schwartz, G. E. (1983). Development and validation of the Geriatric Evaluation by Relatives Rating Instrument (GERRI). Psychological Reports 53 (2): 478–488.
Schwartz, G, E, (1988). Geriatric evaluation by relative’s rating instrument (GERRI). Psychopharmacol Bulletin 24 (4): 713–716. http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/pr0.1922.214.171.1249
Singer, J. A. (2004). Narrative identity and meaning making across the adult lifespan: An introduction. Journal of Personality 72 (3): 437–359. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0022-3506.2004.00268.x
Staudinger, U. M. (2001). Life reflection: A social-cognitive analysis of life review. Review of General Psychology 5 (2): 148–160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/1089-26126.96.36.199
Swain, M. (2000). The output hypothesis and beyond: Mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue. In J. P. Lantolf (ed.), Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning, 97–114. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency and collaboration in advanced second language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (ed.), Advanced Language Learning: The Contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky, 95–108. London: Continuum.
Swain, M. (2010). Talking it through: Languaging as a source of second language learning. In R. Batstone (ed.), Sociocognitive Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Use, 112–129. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Swain, M. (2013). Cognitive and affective enhancement among older adults: The role of languaging. The Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 36 (1): 4–19.
Swain, M., Kinnear, P. and Steinman, L. (2011). Sociocultural Theory in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction through Narratives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Swain, M. and Lapkin, S. (2011). Languaging as agent and constituent of cognitive change in an older adult: An example. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics 14 (1): 104–117.
Swain, M., Lapkin, S. and Deters, P. (2013). Exploring the effect of languaging activities on cognitive functioning: The case of an older adult in a long term care facility. Activities, Adaptation and Aging 37 (1): 1–18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01924788.2013.760142
Swain, M. and Watanabe, Y. (2013). Languaging: Collaborative dialogue as a source of learning. In C. Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Troyer, A. K. and Rich, J. B. (2002). Psychometric properties of a new metamemory questionnaire for older adults. Journal of Gerontology, 57 (1): 19–27. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/geronb/57.1.P19
Tulving, E. (2002). Episodic memory: From mind to brain. Annual Review of Psychology 53: 1–25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.53.100901.135114
Vygotsky, L. S. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/11193-000
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). The Collected works of L.S. Vygotsky: Vol.1. The Problems of General Psychology, including the Volume Thinking and Speech. New York: Plenum.
Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of Mind: A Sociocultural Approach to Mediated Action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.