Overview - The BrainThe Right Brain - 2 and the Left Brain - 1
- The left hemisphere (1) is concerned with logical and analytical skills
An example of a left brain ESL EFL activity is the studying of first the simple past and the present perfect followed by an exercise in which students need to choose whether to use the simple past or present perfect. Example: Jim _______ (not/see) that film yet.
- The right hemisphere (2) is the center of visual, rhythm, "artistic" abilities
An example of a right brain ESL EFL activity would be an exercise in which students need to recognize patterns in a set of pictures. Example: Look at these four pictures. What do they seem to have in common? What is different? Using color coding when writing sentences in different tenses on the board.
- Stimulated by activity, the reflex brain (3) makes sure the brain has the oxygen it needs to function well.
An example of a reflex brain ESL EFL activity is any game that includes physical activity. Example: Acting out the present continuous in a guessing game.
The Limbic System - 4
- Links memory with emotion and is stimulated by "self investment" i.e. personal involvement
An example of a limbic brain (4) ESL EFL activity is any activity that requires personal emotional investment Example: Describe to your partner the most difficult decision you have ever had to make. NOTE In my opinion, this is an area in which teachers need to be very careful. Asking students to divulge personal secrets, while engaging them emotionally and possibly serving long term memory, can be very risky business!
The New Brain - 5
- The new brain (5) is the area of the brain that creates new material
An example of a new brain ESL EFL activity is any activity that asks students to take concepts learned and process the information to come up with new and unique uses. Example: Poetry and essay writing. Students are encouraged to extend their knowledge of English into creating something "new".