Current Issue

Missed in 2022

July 2024

This month we’re looking back at our readers’ favorite articles from 2022. If you didn’t read them the first time around, or if you’re rereading them with fresh eyes, we’re sure that you’ll enjoy each piece! 

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

APA reference for this issue

(author). (2024). (article title, sentence case). MindBrainEd Think Tanks: Missed in 2022, 10(7), (pages).

Watch before you read...

We are rerunning our readers’ favorite articles from the 2022 Think Tanks. Every article is a gem! Look through the Table of Contents to see what you missed, or what was so good that it is worth reading again. Enjoy. And we’ll get back to our regular issues next month. In the meantime, here’s our favorite of our Main & More videos and podcasts from 2022!

What adolescents (or teenagers) need to thrive | Charisse Nixon | TEDxPSUErie

In this video, developmental psychologist Charisse Nixon explores at-risk behavior and protective factors among children and adolescents. Nixon highlights the concerning rise in depression and anxiety over the past 50 years. Decades of re-search underscore the importance of meaningful connections as protective factors in young people’s lives. Nixon shares her insights on how we can help our youth build these vital connections. 

How Recess Helps Students Learn | William Massey | The Conversation

William Massey discusses the critical role of physical activity during recess. In this article, he explains how the combination of exercise and so-cial interactions helps reduce stress and improve classroom focus. Supported by brain science re-search, Massey highlights that safe and positive recess environments lead to better executive func-tion and classroom behavior, emphasizing the im-portance of regular, predictable recess for chil-dren’s learning and well-being. 

What every teacher needs to know about assessment | Dylan Wiliam

Dylan William discusses essential concepts about assessment that every teacher should know in this YouTube video. William outlines key ideas, such as the notion that validity pertains to inferences rather than tests or test scores. He also addresses two ma-jor threats to valid test interpretations: construct under-representation and construct-irrelevant vari-ance.

Breaking the Wall to Neuroeducation | Nina Kraus | Falling Walls Conference 2015

In this talk, Nina Kraus delves into the neuro-science of sound, language, and music, and how they shape human communication. Her research shows how our auditory experiences impact brain function. By measuring brain responses to sound, Kraus reveals that musical training can enhance sound processing and improve literacy, even miti-gating the negative effects of poverty on neural development. She advocates for leveraging this knowledge to predict and address learning difficul-ties.

Using tasks in language teaching | Rod Ellis | Cambridge Live Experience 2020

Rod Ellis explores the vital role of tasks in online and face-to-face teaching in this video. He defines tasks, distinguishing them from exercises, and clas-sifies different types of tasks with examples. Ellis also suggests which tasks suit various learner groups, discusses incorporating tasks into language lessons, and explains how teachers can evaluate task effectiveness.

How Our Brain Gets Things Done | David Badre | CVL Neuro

Join Dr. David Badre as he explores the fascinating realm of cognitive control in this video. Dr. Badre emphasizes the pivotal role of cognitive control in managing behaviors, from everyday tasks to navigating unprecedented global shifts like the COVID-19 pandemic. Don’t miss this insightful exploration of how understanding cognitive control is crucial for therapies and improving brain health in diverse contexts.

Our Thoughts on 2022

What We Missed and Why? Afon (Mohammad) Khari

Since it is the time of the year when we look back at some articles we might have missed, I thought it would be a good opportunity to remind ourselves why we miss things in general. As educators, understanding why learners might miss or overlook information is necessary for addressing the gaps this leaves and creating effective learning environments. The complex workings of our brains and minds play an important role in how we perceive, process, and remember information.

Think Tank Articles

The Extended Mind: Using the World to Enhance Thinking Tim Murphey

I used to think that my thinking was restricted to my brain, that thing in my head behind my eyes. When really, I have been using an extended brain many times without realizing it. It seems that my parents, siblings, coaches, and teachers even trained me to extend. An extended brain is a brain that incorporates aspects of the world as part of its cognition. The world then too is part of the thinking.

Walking on Eggs: Why We Should Know as Much about our Students as We Can Stephen M. Ryan

Nobody anticipated that Susan would hurry from the classroom in tears, but it didn’t take us long to understand why. We were teachers-in-training, participating in a demonstration lesson about how to warm students up to a text before they read it. The text was about an unfortunate young man who fell overboard from a boat. Our trainer was a little too good at helping us imagine what it would be like to feel we were drowning. He was so good at it that he triggered memories in Susan of a recent incident at the beach when she had been swept away by a strong wave.

The Neuroscience of Task-Based Language Teaching Curtis Kelly

The more I learn about task-based teaching, the more I realize that it is especially suited to the brain. But how? I could think of many reasons why Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) fits discoveries in neuroscience, but none that stood out as being specific to TBLT…until, that is…. a month ago. That’s when I found a particular theory that explains the power of TBLT perfectly: The Killer Theory.

Why is TBLT an Effective Approach to Teaching Languages? Some Explanations from Brain Science Amanda Gillis-Furutaka

TBLT and I go back a long way. I was very lucky to have studied for my MA in TESOL at Birmingham University (1990 – 1992) under the guidance of Dave Willis, with occasional guest lecturer appearances from his wife Jane Willis. When I started working in universities in Japan, I was assigned both language skills and content-based classes and had a great deal of freedom in what I taught and how I taught it. Although I would not characterize my various self-created syllabi over the years as specifically TBLT, I recognize that the philosophy of TBLT has always guided my approach to planning and teaching lessons. The tenets of TBLT make sense, and keep students engaged, but I never understood why until I started looking into how the brain learns. Two books I read recently have brought into sharp focus why TBLT is such a great way to teach, and I’d like to share some of the highlights with you.

The Listening-Pronunciation Connection: Four Linked Practices for Improving “Pronunciation Flow” Michael Rost

Listening and pronunciation are closely linked—both in how we acquire the two skills and how they depend on each other neurologically. When we articulate sounds, our motor cortex gets direct messaging from our auditory cortex about the target sounds—informing us how to contort the muscles of our face, mouth, tongue, lips, and throat to produce speech. The way that we perceive sounds creates a template for how we will pronounce them. Simply put, we cannot consciously articulate what we can’t also perceive.

The 3 Ks Explore Listening and the Brain Heather Kretschmer, Curtis Kelly, and Mohammad Khari

Editors’ note: If you are going to teach listening, then we figure you ought to know how the brain does it. But it is hard to find language teacher writers versed in that area, so three of our editors (whose last names all start with a K) decided to dig deep and write a short summary of it.

This article has three parts. 1) We will start with the basic mechanics of sensory processing. 2) Then we will go on to how the brain uses prediction to lighten the processing load. And finally, 3) we will look at embodied simulation.

Think Tank Plus

Let’s Move! Energy Breaks For The Language Classroom Marc Helgesen

Human beings are not designed to sit still all day. Thousands of years ago, on the plains of the Serengeti in Africa, people walked 10-20 kilometers every day (Medina, 2014). It has only been in the past century or two that people everywhere moved to cities. Later, we started going everywhere in cars and trains. We might have gotten used to it but our bodies haven’t changed in that short time. We still need to move.

Call for Contributions: Ideas and Articles Think Tank Staff

Become a Think Tank star! Here are some of the future issue topics we are thinking about. Would you, or anyone you know, like to write about any of these? Or is there another topic you’d like to recommend? Do you have any suggestions for lead-in, or just plain interesting, videos? How about writing a book review? Or sending us a story about your experiences? Contact us.

The MindBrained Think Tanks+

is produced by the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) Mind, Brain, and Education Special Interest Group (BRAIN SIG). Kyoto, Japan. (ISSN 2434-1002)

Editorial Staff

Stephen M. Ryan      Curtis H. Kelly      Julia Daley       Afon (Mohammad) Khari

Heather Kretschmer       Matt Ehlers        Marc Helgesen         Nicky De Proost



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