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The Significance of Neuroscience for Teaching English as Second Language (TESL) in the Digital Era

Journal: English Literature and Language Review (Vol.5, No. 9)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 158-163

Keywords : Neuroscience; TESL; Brain; Interdisciplinary study; Dual Coding model; Cognitive load; MBE Science; Psychology; ESL teacher development;

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In formal TESL courses, Phonetics, Linguistics, Grammar as well as Psychology are taught. However, Neuroscience, the study of the brain, is necessary for ESL teachers for future professional development to meet the rapidly changing needs of the students at all levels in the digital era. Designing educational practices without knowledge of the brain is like “an automobile designer without a full understanding of engines” (Hart, 1999). Based on the neurological evidence of processing of English and Chinese words in the bilinguals' brain, Sham (2002) found a new Dual Coding (Paivio, 1986) model for designing CSL teaching materials that best fits young learners' limited capacity of the brain by reducing their cognitive load (Sweller et al., 1998). Although little research linking neuroscience and learning, Guy and Byrn (2013) emphasis on the understanding of neuroscience of working memory has positive effects on motivating students learning. Direct implication of neuroscience by language teachers has been found difficult, but interdisciplinary study of neuroscience, psychology and education is fruitful (Coch et al., 2007) and there has a great impact of neuroscience on teaching and learning including its implication for ESL college classroom (Sousa, 2010). This paper reviews current research of neuroscience, psychology integrating with ESL teaching and learning, and provides the adult students' feedback of learning IELTS through the design related to neuropsychological findings in order to demonstrate how significant neuroscience is on TESL. In other words, understanding of neuroscience facilitates ESL teaching and benefits ESL teachers' professional development in future (247 words).

Last modified: 2019-10-18 15:01:22