Special Needs and Grammar Learning
The Language Teaching Potential of Cognitive Linguistics
The present paper discusses the potential of Cognitive Linguistics in the study of Specific Language Needs, i.e. pupils with specific impairment in the areas of communication and language acquisition. The paper is ideally divided into two parts. Part one provides a brief overview of how Cognitive Linguistics views the relationship between language and cognition and discusses clinical evidence supporting the idea that these are interrelated in developmental disorders. Consequently, Specific Language Needs should be reframed as cognitive limitations that selectively impact the development of language and communication. The second part of the paper shows that adopting a cognitive linguistic view can also be advantageous in the teaching of second/foreign languages to pupils with Specific Language Needs. After discussing the limitations of traditional approaches to the teaching of grammar, the authors present some potential applications which help overcome some typical learning difficulties experienced by pupils with Specific Language Needs.