ERIC Number: ED337016
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Implications of Brain Hemisphere Research for Second Language Teaching and Learning.
Frechette, Ernest A.
Research on brain hemisphere functions appears to indicate that (1) lateralization occurs from about age five to puberty; (2) both hemispheres are involved in language learning in ways not yet fully understood; (3) after age fifteen, pronunciation learning becomes difficult; (4) older language learners learn more quickly, but younger learners reach the same proficiency level; and (5) each hemisphere does a difficult job. Scientists generally agree that the left hemisphere controls language in about 95% of right-handed and two-thirds of left-handed people. There is much speculation as to each hemisphere's specialty, and while their functions differ, both use high-level cognitive modes. There is a close working relationship between the hemispheres. Perhaps too much time has been spent trying to identify students' lateral dominance. What's more important is to become aware of the right brain's capability and respect intuition and nonverbal thinking more. Some language teaching techniques do this. Right-brain stimulation will reinforce learning and enhance student experience. The brain's information-processing capacity can be improved through enriched environments, good health habits, and mental challenges. These research findings have implications for revision of language teaching and learning, curriculum, textbooks, and materials. A 52-item bibliography is included. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Planning for Proficiency. Dimension: Language '86. Report of the Southern Conference on Language Teaching, p95-109, 1987; see FL 019 583.