NeuroELT: Language Learning and the Brain

NeuroELT: Language Learning and the Brain
with Marc Helgesen, Curtis Kelly, and Joseph Shaules


Session 1: Why NeuroELT Matters: Our Stories, Our Growth
Curtis Kelly, Marc Helgesen, Joseph Shaules
We are English teachers, and yet we are involved in studying neuroscience, psychology and culture. Each of us will talk about our transformation from being a traditional English teacher to one that relies on these fields, and some of the problems our studies have helped us solve.

Session 2: Learning 101: An Introduction to NeuroELT
Curtis Kelly
We are in the business of memory, which means learning. And yet, most of us have just a vague understanding of how learning happens. In this session, we’ll look at some of the key factors of learning, including personal relevance, novelty, sleep, movement, and dopamine release. Then we’ll discuss how these work in the classroom. And, expect a surprise: how faulty memory is really part of a mechanism that helps us succeed.

Session 3: Do-It-Yourself NuroELT: Making your textbook more brain friendly
Marc Helgesen
English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks are written with many things in mind: grammar, vocabulary, tasks and motivation among them. Rarely, however, do textbook authors think about brain science when crafting their textbooks. Fortunately, there are many things classroom teachers can do to make books better in light of the recently findings of brain science. This session will present seven practical suggestions for teachers interested in modifying their books.

Session 4: The Linguaculture Classroom
Joseph Shaules
Many teachers understand that language and culture are closely related, yet struggle to introduce cultural elements into language teaching. Cognitive neuroscience, however, is helping us understand the language-culture connection in the brain, thus providing hints about how to do this. We’ll see that from the neurocognitive perspective, both language and culture learning involve the integration of foreign patterns into cognitive systems, and that student nervousness and resistance is closely related to the adaptive stresses of culture shock.

Each download includes the original course recordings, handouts, readings, and discussion questions

US $69 – Course Download


As always, iTDi believes that all teachers deserve the same opportunity to improve themselves. Therefore, a limited number of scholarships will be available for this course. Please apply through our scholarship application and specify which course you would like a scholarship for.

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This is not a live course. Your purchase includes includes access to four video recordings, readings, and discussion questions. Teachers can earn a Certificate of Completion verifying 20 Professional Development hours if desired. To receive a certificate teachers are required to submit written responses to the discussion questions

Course Download $69


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NeuroELT: Language Learning and the Brain

About Marc Helgesen:

Marc Helgesen, Professor, Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University, Sendai, Japan has written over 150 articles, books and textbooks on English Language Teaching including the English Firsthand series for Pearson Education. He has been an invited speaker at conferences on 5 continents. He maintains two public websites: and HelgesenHandouts.

About Curtis Kelly:

Curtis Kelly (EdD), Professor, Kandai University, Osaka, has spent most of his life developing learner-centered materials for “3L” students, students with low ability, low confidence, and low motivation. He has given over 350 presentations and written over 30 books, including Active Skills for Communication (Cengage), and Writing from Within (Cambridge). He is also the coordinator of the JALT Brain Special Interest Group

About Joseph Shaules:

Joseph Shaules (PhD) has been a tenured faculty at Rikkyo University and a special associate professor at Rikkyo’s Graduate School of Intercultural Communication. He directs the Japan Intercultural Institute (JII) and is Japan specialist for Intercultures, Germany. Books include Identity (OUP),Deep Culture (Multilingual Matters) and The Intercultural Mind: Connecting Culture, Cognition and Global Living. (Intercultural Press).

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