Use of Technology as an Innovative Approach to Non-Linguistic Cognitive Therapy

By Manon Robillard and Chantal Mayer-Crittenden.

Published by The International Journal of Technologies in Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 11, 2014 $US5.00

The relationship between cognitive abilities and linguistic competencies in children has been documented, with multiple studies demonstrating that subtle cognitive weakness can contribute to language learning difficulties. Furthermore, recent research has revealed that cognitive intervention can improve the linguistic abilities of children who have a primary language impairment (PLI). This progression in communication function would be due to improved access to stored information. The goal of this article is to discuss how the use of technology such as the iPad and its plethora of relevant applications (apps), could be a useful tool within the non-linguistic cognitive approach. Moreover, a new model of language intervention using technology to increase cognitive skills has been proposed. Applications designed to increase working memory, sustained attention, and processing speed are increasingly available. Since many of these apps are available as games, they offer promising results due to their motivating characteristic, as much for the children using them as for their parents looking for a new method of treatment. This innovative approach could produce positive results; even improve children’s language skills more rapidly than traditional approaches.

Keywords: Technology, Cognition, Primary Language Impairment (PLI)

International Journal of Technologies in Learning, Volume 20, Issue 1, March 2014, pp.81-96. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 11, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 576.900KB)).

Dr. Manon Robillard

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Professional Schools, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Manon Robillard is currently an assistant professor for the Speech-language Pathology program at Laurentian University in Ontario, Canada. She is also a speech-language pathologist with 14 years of clinical experience in childhood communication disorders. Manon received her doctorate from Laurentian University’s interdisciplinary Human Studies program. Her current research interests involve the relationship between cognitive skills and young children’s language abilities. She is also studying the benefit of a cognitive linguistic approach to the treatment of primary language impairments. She has a variety of speaking engagement experience including at International conferences.

Dr. Chantal Mayer-Crittenden

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Professional Schools, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada

Chantal Mayer-Crittenden is a speech-language pathologist and assistant professor in the Speech-language Pathology program at Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada. She has a special interest in primary language impairment (PLI), nonlinguistic cognitive skills, interdisciplinary research and bilingualism. Her PhD thesis, which was succesfully defended in April 2013, in the interdisciplinary Human Studies program at Laurentian University examined the linguistic and cognitive abilities of bilingual children with PLI. She has presented at the international level on this topic. Further, she is also working on a minor component related to interdisciplinary studies in the field of communication sciences and disorders.