From 1935 to 1982, DuPont, the world’s largest chemical company in terms of sales, advertised their company with the slogan “Better Living Through Chemistry.” We won’t debate the merits of this slogan, but when in the comes to teaching and/or learning a language – we can confidently exclaim, “Better Learning Through Neuroscience!”
This month, the Pure Language Institute is thrilled to announce two new additions to the services we provide. In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, we will be offering our TESOL Certification course online in a virtual classroom. See below for more details. Also, many have asked if we could prepare a 150-hour TESOL Certification course. Well, beginning this month, we are excited to go live with this comprehensive option. Scroll down for more details!
In addition, we will continue our review of acclaimed neuroscientist John Medina’s book “Brain Rules.” We will revisit the subject of memory recall – specifically, how a process called Elaborate Rehearsal speeds up vivid recall and how it applies to learning a language. Therefore – we have much ground to cover in this month’s newsletter! Let’s begin!!!
Announcing: Our TESOL Methodology Certification Seminar now ONLINE!
In this rapidly changing world environment, online teaching has been thrust into the limelight. New tools and platforms to make this avenue of education available and viable have created the opportunity for our students to get completely qualified to teach English online or in a classroom from anywhere in the world. Our virtual classroom will include many opportunities to practice the methods we teach in an environment that duplicates the one they will eventually be working in. Our first course will be streamed live out of Victoria, Canada April 20-23, 2020. Register now for the special introductory price of $249.00 (CAN). See more details at www.purelanguage.ca/what-we-offer
Announcing: A new 100-hour addendum to our TESOL Certification Course!
Some schools and companies have been requiring job applicants to have a 150-hour TESOL certificate.If you need this and have already taken our in-class TESOL Certification Course, then you can avail yourself of this extra schooling. The course consists of 7 modules. The first module consists of attendance and successful completion of our in-class or virtual TESOL Course. The following 6 modules involve a comprehensive review of what you learned that week, plus graded practicums, video lectures and written theses. For more information please go to www.purelanguage.ca/what-we-offer and navigate on the page to “150-HOUR TESOL CERTIFICATION”.
Long Term Memory Building With Elaborate Rehearsal
John Medina, in his comprehensive, yet easily readable book “Brain Rules,” cites the common understanding that, “The typical human brain can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds! If something does not happen in that short stretch of time, the information becomes lost.” For a language learner, this could translate to new words or short phrases in the target language that they are trying to add to their existing vocabulary. He explains that, “memory is not fixed at the moment of learning, but repetition, doled out in specifically timed intervals, is the fixative.” When widely utilized in the classroom, the variety of methods we teach in our TESOL program enacts real-time language experiences for the students, and the emphasis we put on the graduated interval recall of new vocabulary harmonizes with Medina’s findings.
In simplified terms, Medina describes the process of learning or memory strengthening with the relationship between two neurons. One neuron, which he calls the “teacher neuron,” possesses the electrical equivalent of knowledge. The other neuron lies dormant waiting to be stimulated by new information. Once the “teacher” neuron passes information – electrical in nature – the “student” neuron fires excitedly in response, but only for a short period of time. As Medina explains, this new relationship only lasts for an hour or two. If the “student” neuron does not receive the same information within 90 minutes, it resets itself back to zero activity, as if nothing happened. It now waits for any other signal that comes its way. However, if the same information is repeatedly pulsed over every ten minutes, the relationship between the two cells changes. As the electrical repetition systematically continues, it results in increasingly less and less input required from the “teacher” in order to elicit stronger and stronger outputs from the “student.” The “student” neuron then becomes a “teacher” neuron.
What practical lessons can we draw from this research? Starting with the just the vocabulary you plan to teach, break up your one-hour class into specific time slots. Say, 15 to 20 minutes each. Each time slot would see you as the teacher, eliciting the same vocabulary, but with different methods. Methodically add new words and phrases to new lessons in ways that allow your students to systematically retrieve the vocabulary they have already learned in previouslessons. Using the 30+ methods that we teach in our dynamic TESOL Certification Program will give you a powerful toolbox of methods to promote rapid language acquisition. A specific way to do this is called Elaborative Rehearsal. Note the three steps to carry this out:
1) Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information if you want to retrieve it later 2) Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately if you want the retrieval to be of higher quality. 3) Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately and in fixed, spaced interval, if you want the retrieval to be the most vivid it can be.