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Brain Gym

May 10, 2005

Hello again. I was encouraged to see the comments on my recent blog from a reader about her successful employment of a non-native speaker teacher. Her experience should remind us to look beyond our preconceptions and prejudices.

I've always felt that English language teaching is in the vanguard of innovative ideas for keeping the classroom lively. Lots of activities involve students mixing and mingling, working in pairs and groups and being active rather than passive learners. But to the best of my knowledge these traditional classroom actvities, with the exception of some that are music-related, are not designed to stimulate the brain to learn more efficiently.

I'd be interested to know, therefore, whether anybody is routinely using Brain Gym exercises in the English language classroom. Margaret Dunn, who carried out a postgraduate study of Brain Gym, concluded that normal classrooms use activities dependent on verbal or analytical intelligence. However, when a child uses the body, it encourages the brain to make use of a variety of intelligences including rhythmical and visual-spatial intelligence. Of course Brain Gym exercises are designed for children, but given that we expect our students, whether children or adults, to spend long periods in sedentary learning, I wondered if using some breaks during the day for Brain Gym exercises would be helpful.

The exercises are simple and require no special agility. You can find some sample exercies at this URL:

http://esl.about.com/library/lessons/blbraingym.htm

I'd be interested to know if anyone has any experience of these activities and their effects. Let me know here.

Bye for now,

Patricia.

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Comments

  1. Jeremy Says:

    Hi Patricia. Liked what you wrote, set me thinking.
    Wanted your advice.Can you suggest if there is a lession plan (esp. 1st day) that you have practiced and perfected to teach english to a class of complete beginners?
    I shall most appreciate.
    Got a train to catch, bye.
    P.S: Am a very green ELS Trainee Instructor!

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