Sessions / Mind, Brain, and Education

09:00

TESOL JALT Virtual Symposium on Mind, Brain, and Language Education #201

Partner Event
Finished
Saturday 09:00-10:30 JST

Sarah Rose Cavanagh—Embedded: The Social Neuroscience of Learning​

Human beings are ultrasocial creatures who learn best when embedded in a system of shared meaning. What lessons can we draw from the study of the social brain to design more effective learning environments?

Michael Burri—Zooming in on the Nexus between Neuroscience and Pronunciation Teaching

Pronunciation instruction has regained its lost prominence in the second language (L2) classroom. Yet, the connection between neuroscience and pronunciation teaching and learning has yet to be explored. The aim of this online session is to present and discuss with the audience several neuroscientific principles relevant to effective pronunciation instruction.

Julia Volkman—Stress and the Bilingual Brain

Join Julia for a quick overview of and lively conversation about the role of stress in learning (both helpful and problematic), the role of executive functions in language acquisition, and quick tips on how to use this knowledge to improve your teaching, both online and in-person.

​Stephen M. Ryan—The Shock of the New

Come share stories on how your brain has dealt with new environments. Culture shock? Culture bump? “The weirdest thing happened to me today”? We all have experiences of coping with the new and different. They can teach us a lot about how the brain learns and how we can nurture its natural predisposition to make sense of unexpected input.

Sarah Rose Cavanagh—Embedded: The Social Neuroscience of Learning​

Human beings are ultrasocial creatures who learn best when embedded in a system of shared meaning. What lessons can we draw from the study of the social brain to design more effective learning environments?

Michael Burri—Zooming in on the Nexus between Neuroscience and Pronunciation Teaching

Pronunciation instruction has regained its lost prominence in the second language (L2) classroom. Yet, the connection between neuroscience and pronunciation teaching and learning has yet to be explored. The aim of this online session is to present and discuss with the audience several neuroscientific principles relevant to effective pronunciation instruction.

Julia ... more

Speaker: Stephen M. Ryan

Stephen M. Ryan teaches and runs short-term Study Abroad programmes at Sanyo Gakuen University, in Okayama.

14:15

Cognitive influence of food and taste terminology #145

Presentation
Finished
Saturday 14:15-14:50 JST

In this study, the researcher investigated the cognitive and cross-linguistic influence of food and taste terminology in Japanese adult learners of English and how it affects language learning. The researcher investigated if Japanese adult learners of English think differently to native English speakers about the taste of food and if different features of language such as ideophones and metaphor affect cognition. The researcher used the domain of food to conduct two cross-sectional experiments on sixteen Japanese English learners and sixteen native English-speaking participants with similar variables using quantitative and qualitative methods. This study builds on research from previous studies and works by O'Mahony and Isshi (1986), Backhouse (1994), Deignan (1997), Cook (2010), and Littlemore (2015). The experiments carried out in this study established a number of findings that suggest that the language features of food and taste terminology affect cognition and identified several differences in the way the two groups think about food including variances in schematic mental associations. The results also highlighted the need for teaching materials to be developed to enable teachers to focus of figurative speech, metaphor interpretation and other cross-linguistic influences. These teaching materials could be incorporated into upper intermediate and advanced level curriculums for adult learners to improve the developing language competence.

In this study, the researcher investigated the cognitive and cross-linguistic influence of food and taste terminology in Japanese adult learners of English and how it affects language learning. The researcher investigated if Japanese adult learners of English think differently to native English speakers about the taste of food and if different features of language such as ideophones and metaphor affect cognition. The researcher used the domain of food to conduct two cross-sectional experiments on sixteen Japanese English learners and sixteen native English-speaking participants with similar variables using quantitative and qualitative methods. This study builds on research from previous studies ... more

Speaker: James Broxholme

James Broxholme is a part-time university lecturer and English language school owner based in Kagawa, Japan. He has an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham and is ... more

15:00

Homo Docens: Lessons From Brain Science About Effective Teaching #182

Plenary Presentation
Finished
Saturday 15:00-16:00 JST

The official scientific name for our species is homo sapiens (wise human), but evolutionary scientists and neuroscientists suggest that a more accurate description is homo docens (the species that teaches itself). Why? Well, although learning is universally widespread in the animal world, ours is the only species that actively teaches its offspring (Högberg, Gärdenfors & Lars Larsson, 2015; Dehaene, 2020). This presentation will draw mainly on the work of Stanislas Dehaene to explain four basic principles that lead to effective learning and the neuroscience behind each one. These principles are: 1) Help learners direct and focus their attention; 2) Foster active engagement with the subject matter under investigation; 3) Provide constructive error feedback that guides learning and does not evaluate the learner; 4) Create opportunities for consolidation of learning through regular practice and skill building activities that enable subconscious mastery of what is being learned. Examples of class activities for a variety of levels of English learners will be provided to illustrate each of these principles and it is hoped that participants in the follow-up Q & A discussion will share many more examples of their own.

The official scientific name for our species is homo sapiens (wise human), but evolutionary scientists and neuroscientists suggest that a more accurate description is homo docens (the species that teaches itself). Why? Well, although learning is universally widespread in the animal world, ours is the only species that actively teaches its offspring (Högberg, Gärdenfors & Lars Larsson, 2015; Dehaene, 2020). This presentation will draw mainly on the work of Stanislas Dehaene to explain four basic principles that lead to effective learning and the neuroscience behind each one. These principles are: 1) Help learners direct and focus their attention; 2) Foster ... more

Speaker: Amanda Gillis Furutaka

Amanda Gillis-Furutaka is a professor in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyoto Sangyo University, where she has worked since 1992. Before coming to Japan, she taught English in France, ... more

16:00

Self-disclosure: A window on the mind of teachers #146

Presentation
Finished
Saturday 16:00-16:35 JST

While the efficiency of subjective reporting and qualitative data, both solicited and unsolicited has come in and out of fashion since its inception (Hyers, 2018), such techniques promote a sensitive understanding of the particularities and conditions of individual lives. In this paper, three intimate teacher’s case studies will be reported. Self-compassion, self-care techniques, and even self-compassion fatigue were drawn from narrative group work, eight-week meditation, self-led mindfulness, and solicited diaries to enhance teachers' overall psychological and emotional wellbeing. Through the case studies of non-Japanese English teachers based in Tokyo, the presence of ongoing workplace stressors and lifestyle adjustments that impact teachers’ professional performance and private life satisfaction are identified. Based on the result of the narrative self-disclosure, one of the participants revealed that despite the pressure on her jobs such as a limited source of teaching materials, language barrier, and teaching in different schools, at least four schools, in a day made her psychologically, and physically exhausted. Being connected with her colleagues, frequent communication with her family, and self-meditation helped her to embrace her current situation positively. In addition, the benefits and associated challenges of using self-compassion techniques and mindfulness with education professionals are proven to be effective.

While the efficiency of subjective reporting and qualitative data, both solicited and unsolicited has come in and out of fashion since its inception (Hyers, 2018), such techniques promote a sensitive understanding of the particularities and conditions of individual lives. In this paper, three intimate teacher’s case studies will be reported. Self-compassion, self-care techniques, and even self-compassion fatigue were drawn from narrative group work, eight-week meditation, self-led mindfulness, and solicited diaries to enhance teachers' overall psychological and emotional wellbeing. Through the case studies of non-Japanese English teachers based in Tokyo, the presence of ongoing workplace stressors and lifestyle adjustments that impact ... more

Speaker: Merissa Braza Ocampo

I'm affiliated at Fukushima Gakuin University, Fukushima City. I finished my PhD in Hokkaido University, Japan and focused my research on promotion of Mother and Child Health (MCH) care. As ... more

16:45

Positive conversations in the EFL classroom #147

Interactive Poster Session
Finished
Saturday 16:45-17:20 JST

Positive psychology in education has gained attention recently for its potential to enrich the foreign language classroom. With a focus on improving well-being, positive psychology is a natural fit for language learning. One way to think about positive classroom activities is with the PERMA model. Each of the five letters of “PERMA” stand for a different component that can be used to think about well-being and happiness. Teachers of foreign languages, though they may not be conscious of it, probably already include positive activities in their lessons. For example, Positive emotions are present when we attempt to make classroom experiences enjoyable, and we often encourage our students to reflect on their Achievements. These two elements can be included in guided conversation activities and can serve as an effective way to bring positive psychology into classroom activities. By suggesting topics and providing vocabulary and phrases rooted in positive psychology, we can make these activities meaningful for students. However, it is important to consider if students will “pick up” on our intention of making activities positive. Students (n=109) were surveyed to investigate their preference for using conversation starters rooted in positive psychology. This poster will share the results and also how guided conversation activities (including starting questions, vocabulary, and strategies) can be framed in such a way as to incorporate aspects of positive psychology.

Positive psychology in education has gained attention recently for its potential to enrich the foreign language classroom. With a focus on improving well-being, positive psychology is a natural fit for language learning. One way to think about positive classroom activities is with the PERMA model. Each of the five letters of “PERMA” stand for a different component that can be used to think about well-being and happiness. Teachers of foreign languages, though they may not be conscious of it, probably already include positive activities in their lessons. For example, Positive emotions are present when we attempt to make classroom experiences ... more

Speaker: Brent Wright

I primarily teach Business Communication. My research interests include positive psychology in EFL, vocabulary acquisition, and CALL. I also love all (most) things jazz.

17:30

How regulatory fit can increase learner motivation #148

Interactive Poster Session
Finished
Saturday 17:30-18:05 JST

From a psychological perspective, basic motivation to act is dependent upon how hard someone thinks a task is weighed against how much they value the outcome they expect. Importantly, it is the perception of this difficulty and outcome that matters most to motivation. Often, what we do is not as important as how we do it, and this colors these perceptions of ours. Regulatory focus theory comes from the field of psychology and is concerned with how we do something. It identifies two ways people can be motivated to work on a task: With a promotion focus, oriented toward growth and development of new ideas, and a prevention focus, which is more concerned with avoiding errors and measuring one’s performance against what is already known. Many task strategies favor promotion (finding new possible answers—creative tasks, brainstorming, discussing new topics) while others favor prevention (avoiding wrong answers—honing knowledge and skills that have already been learned, such as grammar and vocabulary). While learners may individually have a default preference, research also shows that they can be primed to thinking through either promotion or prevention lenses based on teacher language or a learner’s recall of a past successful experience when they used a promotion or prevention strategy respectively. This poster presentation will explain the basics of regulatory focus theory and illustrate how it can be applied to harmonize learners, common L2 learning tasks, and strategies in a synergistic manner—regulatory fit—for positive motivational results.

From a psychological perspective, basic motivation to act is dependent upon how hard someone thinks a task is weighed against how much they value the outcome they expect. Importantly, it is the perception of this difficulty and outcome that matters most to motivation. Often, what we do is not as important as how we do it, and this colors these perceptions of ours. Regulatory focus theory comes from the field of psychology and is concerned with how we do something. It identifies two ways people can be motivated to work on a task: With a promotion focus, oriented toward growth ... more

Speaker: Curtis Edlin

Curtis is a senior learning advisor in the Self Access Learning Center at Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. He holds an MATESOL degree from SIT Graduate Institute. ... more