Using Brain-Based Instruction to Optimize Early Childhood English Language Education

Using Brain-Based Instruction to Optimize Early Childhood English Language Education

Walaa M. El-Henawy (Port Said University, Egypt)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3123-4.ch007


Neuroscience has given educators new insights into how the brain learns at different developmental stages and practical ways to use those findings in the classroom to optimize student learning. Current studies provide a biologically driven framework for planning and implementing effective instruction called brain-based instruction. Brain-based instruction is a comprehensive approach to learning and teaching grounded in cognitive neuroscience research that is concerned with perception, action, memory, language, and selective attention. This chapter introduces brain-based approach to learning and teaching and how it could be incorporated in earl ELL education especially early childhood classroom. It reviews how the brain learns and how this knowledge is important for ELL teachers. In addition, educational implications of brain-based education are provided particularly for language arts instruction, classroom environment, and assessment.
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Definition of Brain-Based Instruction

Education initiatives that link current practice with promising new research in neurological and cognitive science offer real possibilities for improving teaching and learning, especially for students with diverse learning needs (Hardiman, 2001). Brain-Based Learning (BBL) involves acknowledging the brain's rules for meaningful learning and organizing teaching with those rules in mind (Caine & Caine, 1991). BBL, Cercone (2006) states, is a comprehensive approach to education which supports the notion that individual differences need to be considered in any educational setting. Jensen (2008, p. 410) defines brain-based education as the “engagement of strategies based on principles derived from an understanding of the brain.”

Brain-based education refers to learning in accordance with the way the brain is biologically designed to learn. Brain-based teaching encourages educators to consider the nature of the brain in their decision-making in an effort to reach more learners (Morris, 2010). Brain-based teaching, referred to as brain-compatible or brain-friendly, is evolving to use knowledge about the brain in order to design and implement developmentally appropriate practices in the classroom. The idea of brain-based teaching is to encourage optimal gains in the classroom by stimulating various parts of the brain (Luppe, 2007). Thus, brain-compatible education introduces an orientation for ensuring that no child is left behind that is focused specifically on sustained achievement for all students (Ronis, 2007).

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