Research Proposal Summary

Research Proposal Summary
Institutional Affiliation
Research Proposal Summary
How often would using a second language could result in the reduction of cognitive decline
and dementia in adults? Would learning by print or audible make a difference? What are
the factors?
Most of the adulthood challenges include dementia and cognitive decline, which are
associated with old age. Studies have focused on learning of foreign languages as a form of
cognitive therapy that adequately addresses the essences of dementia and cognitive decline.
Therefore, as posited in most of the research works, learning the second language at old age
reduces the instances of dementia, hence the need to use the concept amongst the adults.
Scholars such as Cheng et al. (2015) have also identified that studying the second language
reduces the rate of brain aging, which is essential for the understanding of the necessity of this
topic. Improved healthcare means that the life expectancy of humans is increasing globally,
which calls for the need to control the age-related challenges. Some of the challenges that adults
face includes loss of memory, declining cognitive development, and dementia, which can be
controlled scientifically through training on second language.
According to neuroscientists, speaking two languages in adulthood reduces the possibility
of brain aging and this result into improved mental health. Furthermore, Cheng et al. (2015)
affirmit reduces the essence of inset of dementia amongst the adults of advanced age, hence the
call for individuals to be bilingual. Studies have further indicated that those who are bilingual
have positive effect in cognition when they grow older, with sustained reduction in cognitive
decline and brain aging. Therefore, the main concept is on the ability of learning or training on
the second language to improve cognition or whether it is the cognition process that benefits
from learning of the second language at a later stage in life. Therefore, it is evident that learning
the second language is a non-therapeutic approach that improves the cognitive progress and
reduces dementia and cognitive decline.
The Problem Statement
Old age comes with several challenges that require improved care, including a decline in
cognitive ability to reduce the old-age related issues such as aging brain and reduced cognitive
decline. This is mainly happening in the seventies, especially with the research positing that
being bilingual is essential for the people to improve their cognitive health. Furthermore,
intelligence and verbal fluency in the foreign language is understood by scientist to enhance
through the bilingual concept amongst the elderly persons. It is necessary that the old persons,
preferably those above the age of 70, are exposed to the learning process that results in the
acquisition of the second language. Ware et al. (2017) understood that learning of such languages
as Spanish, French, and German is ideal for the cognition and the general health amongst the
elderly persons. There is increasing cases of cognitive decline and prevalence of dementia
amongst the elderly persons, which call for interventions that would reduce the risks in the long
run. Furthermore, there is need to critically assess the possibility that bilingualism, especially at
an advanced age, can delay the possible dementia onset for many years.
The Rationale for the Research
The study seeks to underscore the importance of bilingualism amongst the elderly adults
through the processes that result in reduced cognitive decline and dementia. This is informed by
the increased cases of cognitive-related challenges amongst the elderly persons, as well as
dementia infections, which are on the rise. Therefore, the outcomes of the importance of
bilingualism will be ideal for the general population as it would result into in understanding why
the society, medical institutions, and therapists should focus on improving the learning outcomes
for elderly persons through bilingualism. Learning of foreign language would develop the
reasoning and reduces the brain decline concerning activity and essential outcomes. According to
Abutalebi et al. (2015), exposing the elderly persons to a learning process of understanding
second language has positive impacts based on the impact on cognition and activeness of the
brain. It is important for the elderly persons across the world. The information is vital for the
governments, therapists, educators, and the general community on the social welfare of the
elderly persons. The benefits are that the cases of dementia will reduce, as the older persons will
be exposed to the learning of the second language as a positive outcome to overcome the
advantages to their general health.
Statement of the Research Objectives
The primary objectives and purposes of this study include determining the impacts of
learning the second language on the cognitive health of the elderly persons concerning reduction
in dementia and cognitive decline. Furthermore, the study seeks to understand how the
bilingualism is vital in the old age based on the scientific assessment of active minds versus
those that are not actively engaged in the learning of the second language. Ware et al. (2017)
assert that learning second language is important of the health of the brain and the cognition
process, which also delays the onset years for dementia. This includes the scientific
understanding and explanation of the concepts that reduce the cognitive decline and onset of
dementia. Therefore, these objectives and purposes are achievable through the critical
assessment of the research itself to understand the relationship between learning of second
language and reduction of cognitive decline amongst the elderly persons.
In this study, it is expected that learning of the second language for the adult will reduce
the onset years of dementia as well as lowering the cognitive decline. This is because
scientifically, the brain will be kept active and able to achieve the required outcomes that result
in possible objectives such as reduction of the impacts of dementia and reducing the cognitive
aging. Grant, Dennis, & Li’s (2014) article enumerates the scientifically backed evidences of the
role of bilingualism with more importance to cognition, including improved cognition reserve,
control, and even what it means to age in bilingual brain. Therefore, it is hypothesized that when
the elders are subjected to scientifically modified procedures and the process of learning a new
language, they are likely to achieve the ultimate results that are important to improving their
cognitive health and avoid the aging of the brain.
Definition of Terms
Some of the keywords used in the research include dementia, second language, cognition,
cognitive decline, cognitive aging, and elderly persons. These terms are used throughout the text
to underscore their importance in communicating the meaning of the research to the target
audience and to make the study understandable and applicable to human scenarios. For instance,
Abutalebi et al. (2015) researched on how bilingualism also improves neural reserve for the
ageing population across the world. Furthermore, cognition includes all the brain and mental-
related processes that define the stability of the persons in sensitization and reasoning. On the
other hand, the second language is indeed an internationally recognized language whose impact
on communication is essential. Therefore, it is important that the research mentions these words
throughout as they add up to the values and clarity of the different concepts of the analysis.
There are different ways through which learning of the second language by the elderly
persons would improve the performance of their brains to achieve the desire to reduce the
cognitive decline and the onset of dementia years. Foreign language training has scientifically
been backed for its role in keeping the minds of the older adult awake and active, which reduces
the onset of dementia and decline in cognitive ability. Therefore, there is the essence of
decreasing chances of aging brain in the long run. This study seeks to understand the factors that
should be considered to ensure that the process of training the second language as therapy for
cognitive decline is achieved.
Abutalebi, J., Guidi, L., Borsa, V., Canini, M., Della Rosa, P. A., Parris, B. A., & Weekes, B. S.
(2015). Bilingualism provides a neural reserve for aging
populations. Neuropsychologia, 69, 201-210. Retrieved from
Cheng, K., Deng, Y., Li, M., & Yan, H. M. (2015). The impact of L2 learning on cognitive
aging. ADMET and DMPK, 3(3), 260-273. Retrieved from
Grant, A., Dennis, N. A., & Li, P. (2014). Cognitive control, cognitive reserve, and memory in
the aging bilingual brain. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1401. Retrieved from
Ware, C., Damnee, S., Djabelkhir, L., Cristancho, V., Wu, Y. H., Benovici, J., ... & Rigaud, A. S.
(2017). Maintaining cognitive functioning in healthy seniors with a technology-based
foreign language program: a pilot feasibility study. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9,
42. Retrieved from

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