Cognitive processes affect everyday life, often occurring within fractions of a second. Three of these cognitive processes are language, attention, and problem solving. Language is used to effectively communicate. For bilingual children developing cognitive language abilities, understanding how to appropriately use two different languages to accommodate the need of other speakers is very similar to how monolingual children communicate. Attention refers to monitoring and processing information. This paper reviews a study conducted by Huang on spatial attention. Problem solving occurs in many aspects of life, some are routine whereas others are more complex. A study involving the cognitive abilities to solve problems in younger and older adults is also reviewed Cognitive processes are unobservable, often occurring unconsciously, and are altered by previous experience. Language, attention, and problem solving are three cognitive processes that affect the daily life of all humans. Many basic cognitive processes occur within a second or less. The use of language begins very young, some would argue before birth. As bilingual children are developing their cognitive language abilities, the ability to appropriately use two different languages to accommodate the needs of other speakers also develops. The cognitive ability to solve problems that are routine or more complex is encountered on a daily basis, but age does have an effect on this cognitive ability. Attention or the ability to monitor or process information is another cognitive ability used daily. Each of the cognitive abilities can be altered by variables including age, mental health, and physical health as well as other variables. Language
According to Robinson-Riegler and Robinson-Riegler, language is a hierarchically structured “set of symbols and principles for the combination of those symbols that allows for communication and comprehension” (2008, p. 383). The words of language comprise of mental lexicon, while rules are implicit in the grammar of language. Design features shared by a variety of languages include arbitrariness, semanticity, displacement, prevarication, reflectiveness, and productivity. Arbitrariness means that the concepts are not represented by the symbols. Semanticity means that the symbols refer to the real world. Displacement means the ability to refer to the future and the past. Prevarication refers to deception in an effort to create alternate realities. Reflectiveness is communication about a language. Productivity refers to the unlimited number of messages possible to create. Those with a modular view of language believe that language “relies on special mechanisms devoted to nothing else” (Robinson-Riegler & Robinson-Riegler, 2008, p. 388). The non-modular view is opposite in that language is a combined product of other cognitive processes. Pragmatic Differentiation and Language Abilities
Bilingual children are becoming more common in the United States (Tare & Gelman, 2010). In a study conducted by Tare and Gelman, developing cognitive abilities were assessed to determine the relationship to pragmatic language ability as well as how this ability reflects greater cognitive abilities (2010). Pragmatic differentiation is the ability to appropriately use two different languages to accommodate the needs of other speakers. The study compared 28 children who were bilingual in English and the Native American language, Marathi. Results of the study conclude that pragmatic language abilities begin during the preschool years switching language to best communicate with other speakers, as well as adjusting speech according to the person the child is addressing. For example, the children spoke with other children using simpler sentences compared to when speaking with adults (Tare & Gelman, 2010). Problem Solving
Researchers are methodologically challenged by the process of problem solving because...