The First Annual Brain Day Fourth Annual Conference (FAB4) was good. Robert Murphy stated, rekindled, talked on a number of important info that teachers should know about teaching. Teaching, including ELT, involves humans, and humans are incredibly social animals. That is to say, our students are not robots, and “teaching” is not done best when you teach at students, but when you involve them. Humans have brains and bodies that have limitations. So we can’t be sitting students in chairs for 90minutes and expect them to keep still, silent, and ‘record’ information like a tape recorder. The body needs movement, the brain needs interesting stimulation, and humans need interaction. Marc Helgesen’s morning plenary nicely encapsulated how teachers can do these thing to make learning much more efficient.
Leslie Ito explained about the many, myths Japanese parents unfortunately believe in, which can have serious consequences for children. Basically, don’t stress the child, let the child have fun, and enjoy life. Developing bilinguals is not difficult, just get good advice and information.
There were many great presentations, more than what can be reported here. However there’s one more of note, Japanese EFL Students Listening an Reading Vocabulary, presented by Yoko and I. Details on the Listening & Reading Vocabulary page here. In short, students need far more experience and opportunities in listening to English.
Finally this little guy. He was abandoned and discovered by a conference delegate the day before, and is lucky enough to be taken care of, and we were lucky to have him chirping happily during the presentations. It’s great to know that there are people who will take care of even the smallest of us. Although its a little disconcerting that he is being kept in a food try in a cake box.