The articles in this volume are the result of specific investigations into the complex links between language learning and cognition. Most of the data is drawn from English with one article each on Japanese and Mandarin. The articles discuss the cognitive development of students in relation to reading and writing skills, vocabulary and grammar and the role of metacognition in this process. In addition, there are two articles which explore collaborative online learning and gender imbalance in classroom discourse practices.
The interface between language learning and cognition is not only worth investigating in its own right, it has also been the focus of educational reform in Malaysia and in other parts of the world. There is a renewed emphasis now on thinking skills and communication with the growing realization that both are crucial for the successful mastery of language itself and of all academic subjects. Students need to be able to think and to use language in order to think. Each of the articles in this volume is an attempt to investigate that mysterious link between language learning and cognition in a specific context. It is hoped that the insights offered will stimulate research in this most fascinating area.
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