Conceptual Blending in Children’s Games as a Model for Double-Scope Creativity and New Learning Opportunities

Tucan, Gabriela (2015) Conceptual Blending in Children’s Games as a Model for Double-Scope Creativity and New Learning Opportunities. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (1).

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Abstract

Fauconnier and Turner (2002, pp. 389-396) provide an overview of how blending affects the course of a human life, and more specifically, how young children are engaged in building complex blends in very early stages of their lives. Their detailed analysis shows that only after the young child is able to master culturally recognized blends will s/he be effectively ‘living in the blend’ and prove capable of further achieving other blends with more flexibility. During early childhood, it appears that learning and mental development are intrinsically linked to our human ability to blend and deblend. Besides engaging in direct cultural blends, the young child can operate on conceptual blends that are not physically (biologically) given. For instance, this may happen when their imaginative processes are at work in a wide variety of games or fun activities, starting with Lego construction sets to fictive interactions with imaginary companions. In such games and activities, children manifest an extraordinary capacity for double-scope blending. Therefore, by playing games or getting involved in free activities, young children will bring to mastery mental integrations that are essential for their lives as adults. In this light, the paper examines a set of children-designed games and activities that can all account for cases of fictive or potential reality. That is, the mental spaces created do not refer directly to entities in the outside world. I argue that an analysis of such fantasy mental spaces (with the tools of the mental space theory) can shed new light on learning and human creativity. While playing and blending mental spaces with their counterfactual counterparts, the young subject has to manipulate his/her ‘split self’ (Lakoff & Johnson 1999) or counterfactual self. With the knowledge of early evolution of conceptual blending in children’s games, I propose that educators may apply the results in diverse areas of instruction and learning in order to better deal with the cognitive side of learning, and eventually come to terms with human creativity. Keywords: blends, early childhood, mental development, children-designed games

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LF Individual institutions (Europe)
L Education > LT Textbooks
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:45
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2016 15:42
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2787

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