Connecting Brain Science to Language Teaching
Our Think Tank online magazine represents 21st century learning. Just as you might come across an interesting video on the Internet, click links to read more about it, and then discuss it with colleagues, our Think Tanks work that way too. Each starts with a media broadcast, such as a TED Talk on the brain science topic featured in the issue. This is followed by a Think Tank of teachers and researchers writing more about the topic and how it applies to the language classroom. The final Plus section includes book reviews, reader spotlights, and other special contributions.
Subscribe by sending your first and last name, country, and email address to BRAINSIG+ThinkTankTeam@gmail.com (It's free.)
2020 Think Tank Issues
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Professional Development to Learn More about the Brain
4 MindBrained Think Tank V6i4 Professional Development April 2020
Going back to school is a choice many teachers make, or often, going to workshops, conferences, or other ways to learrn more. Thi sissue gives special advice on how you can learn more about the brain in these ways, with stories from people who have done so.
Embodiment as a Way to Understand Language
3 MindBrainEd Think Tank+ V6i3, Self-Efficacy, March 2020
Embodied cognition represents a relatively recent view of how the brain processes the world, but one of great importance. Basically, it means that the brain is not a separate organ locked up in our heads, just connected to our body. It is deeply integrated with the body, and uses present and past bodily experiences to understand external events, as well as make memory and language.
The Role of Self-Efficacy in the Language Classroom
2 MindBrained Think Tank V6i2 Self-Efficacy Feb 2020
Self-efficacy has to do with our (or lack of) confidence towards successfully completing a specific task, but more. It affects our ability to even engage in that task. In that way, it is an all-important condition for teachers to pay attention to and try to bolster.
Stories about Experiences that Changed Us as Language Teachers
1 MindBrained Think Tank+ V6i1, Experiences, January 2020
The "Student from Hell," the teacher that changed my life, the day I discovered that something I was doing was wrong; stories like these shape us as much as any other form of teacher training we might engage in. Take a little training here with our 11 wonderful stories.
2019 Think Tank Issues
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The Role of Cognitive Load in Language Teaching
12 MindBrainEd Think Tank+ V5i12, Cognitive Load, December 2019
Managing cognitive load is an important part of teaching, learning and basic communication. Learn about Cognitive Load Theory and how you, or your students, can be use it to make your language classes better. Also learn how the theory has changed recently.
Vocabulary and the Brain
11 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i11, Bilingualism, November 2019
Introductory videos explain how the brain processes language and stores words. Then, the Think Tank contributors give us a smorgasbord of vocabulary teacing techniques, some you have never heard of, and we end with a word about the US President. It is just a single word and from Japanese.
Using Maslow’s Hierarchy in the Language Classroom
10 MindBrainEd Think Tank+ V5i10, Maslow, October 2019
Maslow took psychology far beyond the stimulus-response-conditioning model that dominated at the time, and gave us a much more humanistic perspective. The Hierarchy of Needs he created revolutionized the field, and is still of great value to any teacher of this millenium. Let's look at why.
The Bilingual Brain and the L2 Classroom
9 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i9, Bilingualism, September 2019
Ellen Bialystok explains her research on bilingualism and then our Think tank team relates it to the language classroom. Learn about the benefits of bilingualism for cognition, a brainspan that fits one's lifespan, and teacher sensitivity.
Cultural Diversity in the Language Classroom
7 MindBrainEd Think Tank+ V5i8, Reading, August 2019
Teaching learners from different cultures, whether they be refugees or regular students in an L2 country, can both confusing and enlightening. In this issue, we will look at culture, diversity, the hidden curriculum and font choice effects across cultures.
Accessing the Inner Worlds of Language Learners
7 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i7, Inner Worlds, July 2019
Brené Brown tells us about vulnerability in the classroom. Then we look at the brain science of empathy, tuning in to students to make them tune into us, and the relationship between expectations and motivation. Finally, we will learn how to work with introverted learners.
Reading and the Brain in FLL
6 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i6, Reading, June 2019
Reading is one of the brain's latest and greatest achievements, but how the brain does this is not well known in second language programs. Here, we illustrate how the brain reads and offer practical suggestions for setting up an extensive reading program. (Note: Dylslexic reading-friendly page colors used.)
Neurodiversity in the Language Classroom,Part 2: ADHD, MS, & Dyslexia
5 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i5, Neurodiversity 2, May 2019
The first issue on neurodiversity was so complex and interesting, we came back to it again this month. The main focus this time is dyslexia, multiple sclerosis, and back again to ADHD. Our Think Tank panel provides insights for dealing with learners with these problems and ways we should change our thinking. (Note: Dylslexic reading-friendly page colors used.)
Culture, the Brain, and the Language Classroom
4 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i4, Neurodiversity, Apr 2019
Is language a part of culture or culture part of language? Maybe a better term for both is Shaules' "Linguaculture."
Start by watching the entertaining lead-in videos. Then read our ponderings and book reviews on culture and the brain in this insightful issue.
Forgetting as a Part of Language Learning
3 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i3, Forgetting, Mar 2019
Remembering is an important part of learning, but so is forgetting, and we forget in such exquisite ways. Can we reduce forgetting? Total episodic memory recall is physiologically possible, but do we really want it? What advice can we give students on organizing their lives better so they forget less? Let's explore these questions together.
Neurodiversity in the Language Classroom, Part 1: ADHD, ASD, & SAD
2 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i2, Neurodiversity, Feb 2019
We tackle the question on how ADHD, ASD, SAD, and Asperger brains are different and how these "disabilities" might be abilities as well. You have probably encountered students with these different brains in your clasroom, so let's hear from others who have as well, and what they have discovered about teaching them.
Our Favorites in Brain Science and How They Changed Our Teaching
1 MindBrained Think Tank+ V5i1, Favorites, Jan 2019
In this jumbo size anniversary issue, eighteen of our first-year contributors wrote articles about their favorite brain-based concepts or language teaching techniques. Use them to improve your teaching as well!
2018 Think Tank Issues
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Happy Holidays Supplement
12b MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i12b, Holidays, Dec 2018
Two year-end holiday activities you can use in your classroom. More activities will come in the next issue, these were sent early to be available for Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or other holiday celebrations.
Music and Art in the Language Classroom
12 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i12, Music, Dec 2018
Watch Tania de Jong's TED Talk on How Singing Together Changes the Brain. Then read our Think Tank about how singing and art affects the brain and how they can be used in the language classroom.
The AGING Brain in the Language Classroom
11 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i11, Aging, Nov 2018
Listen to John Medina’s Brain Science podcast interview on Aging Well. Then read about aging teachers and learners and their challenges.
Assessing Complexity in the Language Classroom
10 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i10, Assessing Complexity, Oct 2018
Read Theo Dawson's article development of a new means of assessment and read about how it might transform language teaching and all education.
Teaching the Adolescent Brain
9 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i9, Aging, Sept. 2018
Watch Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s TED Talk on The Mysterious Workings of the Adolescent Brain. Read the Think Tank for advice on how to teach young adults.
Multiple Intelligences and Beyond
8 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i8, Multiple Intelligences, Aug 2018
Watch Howard Gardner's’ video on 8 Intelligences. Then read about multiple intelligences in the language classroom and a challenging view of intelligence itself.
Exercise and Movement to Improve Language Learning
7 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i7, Exercise, July, 2018
Watch John Ratey’s TED Talk: Run, Jump, Learn! How Exercise can Transform our Schools. Then read about how four language teaches have modified their classes to take advantage of the his theories.
Mindfulness as a Language Study Skill
6 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i6, Mindfulness, June, 2018
Watch Dan Harris' and Richard Burnett's videos on Mindfulness. Then read about what mindfulness is and how it can be used in the language classroom.
The Role of Emotion in Language Learning
5 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i5, Emotion, May, 2018
Watch Lisa Feldman Barrett's TED Talk, You Aren't at the Mercy of your Emotions: Your Brain Creates Them. Then read our think tank by teachers on the neuroscience and psychology of emotion and what role it plays in the language classroom.
Confirmation Bias in the Language Classroom
4 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i4, Confirmation Bias, April, 2018
Watch Bo Bennett's video on Confirmation Bias. Then read about how learning how confirmation bias works can give learners (and teachers) an invaluable skill.
The Role of Working Memory in Language Learning
3 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i3, Working Memory, March, 2018
Watch Peter Doolittle's TED Talk on How your Working Memory Makes Sense of the World. Then read about how imporatnt working memory is in language learning.
Sleep and Language Learning, Part 2
2 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i2, Sleep Part 2, February, 2018
Read or listen to the You Are Not So Smart podcast on How Sleep Deprivation Dulls Our Minds and Unleashes Our Biases. Then read our think tank on teh science of sleep and how to improve sleep amongst our learners.
Sleep and Language Learning, Part 1
1 MindBrained Think Tank+ V4i1, Sleep Part 1, January, 2018
Watch the Matthew Walker video on Why We Sleep. Then read about sleep issues with language learners and ways they can manage them.
2017 Think Tank Issues
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Learning to Learn
MindBrainEd Bulletin Vol 3 Issue 2, October, 2017
MindBrainEd Bulletin Vol 3 Issue 1 Apr 2017
2016 Think Tank Issues
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MindBrained Bulletin Vol 2 Issue 3 October 2016
MindBrainEd Bulletin Vol 2 Issue 2 June 2016
MindBrainEd Bulletin Vol 2 Issue 1 April 2016
2015 Think Tank Issues
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Welcome Back to MindBrainEd
MindBrained Bulletin Vol. 1 Issue 2
Welcome Back to MindBrainEd Appendices
MindBrained Bulletin Vol. 1 Issue 2 PDF Appendices
A New Kind of Journal
MindBrained Bulletin Vol 1 Issue 1
Introduction to the BRAIN SIG