Universal Journal of Public Health Vol. 12(2), pp. 396 - 409
DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120222
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The Cognitive Benefits and Neurobiological Impacts of Learning a Second/Foreign Language: A Study on Enhancing Cognitive Function and Dementia


R. Robert , S. Meenakshi *
School of Social Sciences and Languages, Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore, India

ABSTRACT

The escalating prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in our aging population presents a formidable challenge. This empirical study aims to investigate the prophylactic potential of foreign/second language acquisition in mitigating Alzheimer's disease and dementia among older adults. It explores the cognitive advantages and neurobiological impacts associated with foreign/second language learning in aging individuals. To achieve this, the study utilized a sample of 150 elderly participants and employed language activities focused on vocabulary retention and memory, with the IELTS Band Score as a rubric for pre- and post-test measurements. The study employs a quantitative research approach, focusing on adult learners in language institutions. Two academies in the Vellore District, India, comprise the control (63 participants) and experimental groups (87 participants) aged above 60. The collected data were analyzed based on IELTS Band Scores on a 1-9 scale. The research spanned two months, commencing in August 2023. The statistical outcomes suggest a positive impact of foreign language acquisition on vocabulary retention and memory among older adults. The post-test scores of the experimental group indicated a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001) between groups. This proved that engaging in language-related activities deepens understanding of the complex relationship between language acquisition and the aging brain network, offering a pathway to preserve cognitive health in later life.

KEYWORDS
Cognitive Benefits, Foreign/Second Language Acquisition, Alzheimer's Disease, Dementia Prevention, Older Adult Learning

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] R. Robert , S. Meenakshi , "The Cognitive Benefits and Neurobiological Impacts of Learning a Second/Foreign Language: A Study on Enhancing Cognitive Function and Dementia," Universal Journal of Public Health, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp. 396 - 409, 2024. DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120222.

(b). APA Format:
R. Robert , S. Meenakshi (2024). The Cognitive Benefits and Neurobiological Impacts of Learning a Second/Foreign Language: A Study on Enhancing Cognitive Function and Dementia. Universal Journal of Public Health, 12(2), 396 - 409. DOI: 10.13189/ujph.2024.120222.