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Brain n Reading

Brain n Reading

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Published by Dwi Pudjo

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Published by: Dwi Pudjo on Jun 12, 2009
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 Mart 2005 Cilt:13 No:1 Kastamonu Eğitim Dergisi 287-298
 Serhan KÖSE 
G. U. Kastamonu Education Faculty, Department of Primary Education, Kastamonu.
The aim in this paper is to put out some aspects of the developments of the brain and to prepare a classroom which will be more appropriate for the brain's learning process. The preparation of the classroom will overcome most of the problems in foreign language teaching and effect EFL students' learning performance positively.
 Bu makalenin amacı beyin ile ilgili gelişmeleri ortaya koymak ve beynin öğrenme sürecinedaha uygun bir sınıf oluşturmaktır. Böyle bir sınıfın oluşturulması yabancı dil öğretimindekarşılaşılan birçok sorunu ortadan kaldıracak ve yabancı dil öğrenen öğrencilerin performansınolumlu şekilde etkileyecektir.
There is a truth that there are still some problems arising in teaching a foreignlanguage. For this, various kinds of approaches, ways and methods have been oriented.The aim is to teach English quickly and efficiently. There are many factors thatinfluence learning. Lopez and Alipoon (2001:33) claim that learning is a complexactivity affected by many factors: our senses, attention, emotion, experiences, andreflective thinking. So these factors must be taken into consideration when teachingEnglish.We accept the truth that every person is unique and that every brain is unique, aswell. This means that every brain has its own natural learning process. It has long beenknown that regions of the brain have specialized functions. We underrate our brains andour intelligence. Formal education has become such a complicated, self-conscious andoverregulated activity that learning is widely regarded as something difficult that the brain would rather not do…. But reluctance to learn cannot be attributed to the brain.Learning is the brain's primary function, its constant concern, and we become restlessand frustrated if there is no learning to be done. We are all capable of huge andunsuspected learning accomplishments without effort (Frank Smith, 1986:18).
 March 2005 Vol:13 No:1 Kastamonu Education Journal 
Serhan KÖSE 
The aim in constructing a brain compatible classroom is to create learningopportunities which are consistent with natural brain process. It's also aimed to makethe students use the full potential of their brain. Wolfe (2001:1) argues that the morewe understand the brain, the better we'll be able to design instruction to match how itlearns best. And also Lopez and Alipoon (2001:29) add that the knowledge gainedfrom neuroscience must be integrated with current educational, psychosocial, andempirical evidence from classroom experience before planning teaching strategies.According to Sousa (2001:3), recently teachers try to change the human brain everyday. The more they know about how it learns, the more successful they can be. Inthe same sense Lopez and Alipoon (2001:31) state that to make sure concepts arestored and later be retrieved, teachers need to encourage students to analyze andachieve understanding, not just get through the material. The learning must not beordinary.
Brain Specialization
It is known that the brain is divided into two parts which one is on the right and theother on the left. They are connected in the middle. These two hemispheres functionasymmetrically, which means that the left hemisphere controls the movements of theright side of the body, and the right hemisphere controls the movements of the left side(Donald, 1991:342).
Function of the Brain
Connected to the right side of the bodyConnected to the left side of the bodyProcesses input in a sequential andanalytical manner Processes input more holistically andabstractlyTime-sensitiveSpace-sensitiveGenerates spoken languageInterprets language through gestures,facial movements, emotions, and bodylanguageDoes invariable and arithmeticoperationsDoes relational and mathematicaloperationsSpecializes in recognizing words andnumbers (as words)Specializes in recognizing faces, places,objects and musicActive in constructing false memoriesMore truthful in recallSeeks explanations for why eventsoccur Puts events in spatial patternsBetter at arousing attention to deal withoutside stimuliBetter at internal processing(Sousa, 2001: 169)
 Mart 2005 Cilt:13 No:1 Kastamonu Eğitim Dergisi 
 Preparing a More Brain Compatible Classroom for EFL Students in University _____________ 
Creating A Brain Compatible Classroom
There is a big problem not just in teaching English but also in other lessons becausethe education level of the courses given for a long time has been insufficient accordingto all the aspects that are expected from these courses and schools. In creating a braincompatible classroom the teacher must look at teaching developmentally,socioculturally, and in other broadways. Brain compatible learning and teaching focuseson how the brain learns and how language teachers can learn to understand and use thisknowledge to help foreign language students learn English quickly and efficiently.The most important factor is the educational environment and the teaching methodsof the teachers, because they do not focus on the intelligences. Styles of the students andthe learning environment aren't appropriate for learning. To overcome these problemsthe environment should be prepared to be more brain compatible as well as methodsemployed.
Teach to Both Sides of the Brain
Wholes are important to learning. Neither should be emphasized at the cost of theother. Some of those who are promoting "right-brain thinking" might do more good by promoting "whole brain thinking." Provide learners with global overviews. Providethem with a sequence of steps that will be followed. If you use an overheadtransparency, first show all of it, or all of your overheads for the day or for the wholecourse. Then you can sequence them, one idea at a time. Alternate between the "big picture" and the details. Validate that we are "whole brain learners".Characteristics of the left brain learner: Remembers names, words are important,logical, abstract thinker, serious minded, likes to plan, problem solver, sequentialthinker, emotionally inhibited, systematic, objective, analytical, responds to auditoryinstruction, prompt and punctual, fanatic, and single-minded. Characteristics of the right brain learner: Remembers faces, responds to visual and kinaesthetic instruction, artistic,musical, improvises emotional humorous, creative, playful, intuitive in problem solving,highly psychic, subjective, into body language, holistic outlook at life, more athletic, prone to be late and 'spacey'. Characteristics of the balanced brain learner: between leftand right- a combination, a nice balance of the two extremes. Since no one hemispheredominates, you may never reach full potential of talents characteristic of the extremes.So, you'll never be a surgeon or an Olympic marathon runner... but think about sales,teaching, or politics.
2.Focus on Intelligences
As it is known the theory of multiple intelligences were developed by HowardGardner. Gardner (1983:70) claimed that there are at least seven different intelligencesthat each person possesses which are verbal-linguistic, logical- mathematical, bodily-kinaesthetic, visual-spatial, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal and later on he addedanother type of intelligence; naturalistic intelligence. He also added that there can beadditional intelligences that are not identified at the moment.
 March 2005 Vol:13 No:1 Kastamonu Education Journal 

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