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TESOL/JALT Virtual Symposium on Mind, Brain, and Language Education

TESOL and JALT are co-hosting a 90-minute virtual event with the three presenters presenting at the symposium in Kyoto in 2021.

TESOL gratefully acknowledges the support of its Sustaining Partner, National Geographic Learning.

National Geographic Learning

Recorded Presentations

Introduction, Welcome Remarks and Summary

Sarah Rose Cavanagh's Breakout Session

Julia Volkman's Breakout Session

Michael Burri's Breakout Session

Stephen M. Ryan's Breakout Session


Presenters and Presentations 

Stress and the Bilingual Brain
(Julia Volkman, Harvard University (Extension School), Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Join Julia for a quick overview of and lively conversation about the role of stress in learning (both helpful and problematic), the roll of executive functions in language acquisition, and quick tips on how to use this knowledge to improve your teaching, both online and in-person.

Julia VolkmanJulia Volkman is Teaching Fellow for the Neuroscience of Learning Course at Harvard University (Extension School), President of Maitri Learning (an educational publishing company), and a Mentor Montessori Early Childhood teacher.  Her research focuses on the development of literacy and aligning teaching methods with scientific understanding. She writes, presents, and consults on neuroscience and pedagogy in the US and abroad.

Zooming in on the Nexus between Neuroscience and Pronunciation Teaching
(Michael Burri, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia)
Pronunciation instruction has regained its lost prominence in the second language (L2) classroom. Parallel to this development, the number of empirical studies and subsequent understanding of how and what needs to be taught to improve L2 learners’ intelligibility is gradually growing; 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. 

Michael BurriMichael Burri 
is a senior lecturer in TESOL at the University of Wollongong (Australia). His research interests include pronunciation instruction, teacher education, innovative and context-sensitive pedagogy, and non-native English-speaking teacher (NNEST) issues. Michael has published several open source papers and given more than 40 presentations on haptic teaching. He served as TESOL’s SPLIS Chair (2012-13), and in 2015 he was the recipient of the TESOL Award for an Outstanding Paper on NNEST Issues.

The Shock of the New
(Stephen M. Ryan, Sanyo Gakuen University, Okayama, Japan)
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.

stephen-m-ryan_2_origStephen M. Ryan has a passion for Study Abroad. He is also fascinated by the insights into learning offered by brain science. At Sanyo Gakuen University, in Okayama, Japan, he teaches English and works with Study Abroad students, He is also the chief editor of the MindBrainEd Think Tanks, which brings brain science to language teachers.

Embedded: The Social Neuroscience of Learning
(Sarah Rose Cavanagh, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA)
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? 

Sarah RoseSarah Rose Cavanagh 
is a psychologist, professor, and Associate Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College. Her research focuses on the connections between emotions and quality of life. Sarah is author of 
The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion and HIVEMIND. She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for The Chronicle of Higher Education.