Week 5


During this week participants will

  • review important concepts about the brain and learning
  • speculate how to improve practice based on concepts about the brain and learning
  • discuss what they have acquired for their teaching toolkit and assess their own learning during the session
  • evaluate the workshop

Week 5 Tasks 

Task 1 – Summing Up

Read the text Braining up Your English Lessons, which contains some important ideas about the brain and learning, all taken from the book The Art of Changing the Brain, by James Zull.

I rearranged the text from the book „The Art of Changing the Brain“ by James Zull and created a power point presentation. In this form, it is much more clearer for reading. Here it is:

Task 2 – Speculating


a. From a brain-functioning perspective, speculate what could be wrong in the situations below. What other strategies could be more effective?

1) A group of students seem not to understand the target content of the unit. The teacher has been very patient and willing to help the students. The teacher has repeated the explanation several times, but they still don’t understand. Both the teacher and the students feel frustrated.

2) A teacher spends several hours preparing a beautiful lesson. In class, students have fun and do the activity in 5 minutes. Later, while correcting the students’ tests, the teacher is disappointed at the student’s

poor retention of that specific content. 

3) Students did poorly on a vocabulary exercise in the test. The teacher doesn’t understand it because they seemed to have understood the vocabulary in the class when the teacher taught that content.

My reflections:

Maybe teacher didn’t stress enough the main conclusions and ideas, key words, and maybe the lack of repetition occurred! These are the main reasons that stop the transition of the informations from short-term  to long-term memory!

So, the recommandations would be:

  • engage students to make notes during the lessons which could help them to repeat the material
  • force them to write down the key words
  • motivate them to repeat the lesson. It could be done during the last 5-10 minutes of the lesson or the tascher could instruct them to repeat the lesson as soon as they come home, when the material from the lesson is still fresh! It would be the best if students could repeat it once more during that day, becouse, the act of repeating makes the information remembered  and stored in long-term memory!

Task 3 – Portfolio Entry

a. Choose one of the case studies below. Think about how the knowledge you have acquired so far about the brain and learning could help the teacher deal with the situation described in the case study you have chosen. Add your personal views to your portfolio.


CASE 1Pedro has attended EFL classes since he was a kid. His native language is Portuguese. Pedro is a demonstrably clever thirteen-year-old boy who has the ability to use English fluently. However, in his EFL classes he misbehaves, disturbs his companions, insists on responding to his teacher in Portuguese, and is perpetually distracted and restless. His teacher calls his attention every single class with no effective result. Pedro almost never does homework, fails marginally at the end of the semester, is benefited by the bonus class opportunity, and ends up passing with a low final average. Pedro is infamous among the group of teachers in the institution.CASE 2

Victoria has learning difficulties and copes with the problems connected to her parents, who are in the process of a tempestuous divorce. Her major difficulty lies in keeping a focus on the subject, but she really wants to learn. Her teacher sends her regularly to emergency help classes and she attends hopefully, but the results are less than their mutual desire. The teacher also contacts Victoria’s parents at predictable intervals, asking for their input and encouragement with regard to homework and study for tests. Victoria is afraid of her parents’ reaction to her low grades. She’s also afraid of being in the spotlight, so it’s hard to get her to participate in class.


My reflections upon Task 3

I‘ve chosen the Victoria’s case.

As she has a learning difficulties, she needs to learn from rearranged learning materials! I assume that she would be more successful in learning if she were exposed to small amounts of text. First, the lesson should be presented as a whole by 2 or 3 main sentences, and than sepparated in several parts conviniant for learning and catching the main ideas Finally, she could repeat all main ideas from each part! She should get verbal praises that would encourage her to speak publicly and explain everything she learned about! That would create a pleasant atmosphere that should enable the learning process. She should be awarded with the grade. All these motivators should open her mind for the concious capability of learning. Also, good marks should be a reason for the praise given by her parents. 

Maybe the teacher could speak to Victoria’s parents and explain them that their reaction is very important for Victoria’s learning capabilities! If she would be motivated by her parents to learn, she would be more successful! That would be the reward for learning that would strengthen her personality!)

She should also be instructed to have a constant time and place for learning (that is a sign for learning); to have a learning schedule; to repeat the lesson, to use learning visual mind-maps that would facilitate her learning and knowledge…



4 коментара (+додајте свој?)

  1. Sarah Hillyard
    феб 15, 2013 @ 20:04:09

    Love your powerpoint presentation. It surely does make it all clear!


  2. MaryH
    феб 19, 2013 @ 11:45:23

    The bullet points you wrote for task two are great! Thanks for an interesting post, Simonida!


  3. simonidinpsihoblog
    феб 19, 2013 @ 15:47:29

    Thank you, Mary!


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