This New Era of Neuroeducation

2nd January 2015, by Rachel Paling

As 2015 quietly creeps into our lives, it is probably time to recognise and acknowledge that over the last decade the presence of a new era can really be felt : the era of Neuroeducation.

Twenty five years ago the field of neuroeducation started to make whispers in the academic world, concretely in 1988 by the Psychophysiology and Education Special Interest Group. It is now the cornerstone of many research organizations around the world and educational neuroscience or Neuroeducation [1] has not only emerged from the whispers but is now fully underway in practice as evidenced by various people who are marrying neuroscience with education of some type or other.

According to the Aalok Mehta, “Neuroeducation is an interdisciplinary field that combines neuroscience, psychology and education to create improved teaching methods and curricula and is moving increasingly close to prime time as researchers gain a more sophisticated understanding of how young minds develop and learn, leading education and brain experts say. “[2]

In reality, neuroscience is seemingly penetrating all walks of life nowadays: education; leadership and executive development ; health; and even spirituality.

Focusing in oin Neuroeducation, interestingly the more we are discovering about how the brain works the more we are able to bring this comprehension into educational methods and approaches and that is exactly the philosophy behind “Neurolanguage Coaching®”, a new method and approach to facilitate faster and more efficient foreign language learning.

As the creator of Neurolanguage Coaching, I truly believe that the most interesting question for any “Neuroeducator”[3] of any discipline nowadays is “how can I get my learner to learn faster, more efficiently and in a sustainable, effective manner?”

Based on the knowledge we now have regarding the brain and how the brain likes to learn we are blasting away those “neuromyths”[4] that have hindered and disempowered for far too long and now we are tapping into and encouraging more and more learning potential due to the fact that as Neuroeducators we now know HOW to. Pettito and Dunbar stated that educational neuroscience “provides the most relevant level of analysis for resolving todays´s core problems in education”[5] and I absolutely wholeheartedly agree with them and stand by the fact that neuroscience can in fact bring in a meaningful contribution to education and instigate the necessary educational changes that could benefit all leaners. According to Frith[6], “Learning in cognitive psychology and neuroscience has focused on how individual humans and other species have evolved to extract useful information from the natural and social worlds around them.” “Conversely modern formal education has more of a focus on descriptions and explanations of the world that learners cannot be expected to acquire by themselves” (Wikipedia – Neuroeducation). So in my humble interpretation of this, modern formal education adopts more of a “telling from one person to the other” approach, whereas neuroscience introduces the “self- experiencing” approach or getting the learner to come to his/her own learning through self-application of the learning, thus bringing us full circle back to the echoing tones of Socrates and one of his famous quotations “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”.

At this point, the key is actually in the “neuroeducators” themselves: once we as teachers, trainers, coaches are able to fully understand and embrace the findings that modern neuroscience is enlightening us with – and not only understand and embrace , but actually be able to put into practice daily with all of our learners and students – we then begin to really see with our own eyes the impact that we as teachers, trainers, instructors or coaches actually have on the learner. Neuroeducators, and in our particular case, neurolanguage coaches, are bridging the education /neuroscience gap by bringing neuroscience alive in a practical sense within a branch of education. And ultimately, the greatest transformation is in the neurolanguage coaches themselves : the real “neuroeducators” in the true sense, who are able to empower the learner throughout the learning process, based on what is known about how the brain functions.

Over the last year, having worked with language teachers all over the world, training and certifying them to become “neurolanguages coaches”, I have seen teachers absolutely transformed and metamorphosized with their newly acquired knowledge of the brain, neural connections, neuroplasticity and how to really assist the learner to learn more efficiently and faster and also how to empower the learner to really come into full potential blasting away those neuromyths along the way. This knowledge together with the incorporation of a coaching style and coaching principles and competencies absolutely enhance the language learning process.

In the study by Dimitris Zeppos, [7] Profiling Language Coaches, one of the major findings has been that most of the people who have certified as language coaches are highly qualified middle aged teachers, who at such an age are people that want to change and make a difference to the world and this is very much the feeling that and desire that is resonating in all upcoming branches of neuroeducation – we need to make a difference and bring education into the 21st century. In particular neurolanguage coaching has the mission to bring foreign language learning into the 21st century facilitating communication in an ever more globalizing world.

So yes, indeed the era of Neuroeducation is already upon us. Thanks to advances in modern technology (neuroimaging[8]) we can expect more and more amazing facts and results relating to our brains – of which we still understand so little, as the human brain is made up of maybe over 100 billion neurons, each of which connects to thousands of other neurons and is potentially the most complex biological structure on Earth.

Finally with regard to neurolanguage coaching – our next steps are not only to bring efficient language learning more and more into the world to facilitate the normalization of speaking different languages to facilitate life, communications and relations in a global world, but also we are now committed to research and study into the efficiency and effectiveness of neurolanguage coaching and as such have initiated studies to test and verify such efficiency.

2015 is definitely set out to be another voyage of discovery. May it be a voyage full of insights and efficient language coaching!

Article by Rachel Marie Paling, January 1st, 2015

Efficient Language Coaching®

Neurolanguage Coaching®

Mini NEURO Dictionary for clarification of terms

Neuroeducation[9] is interdisciplinary field that combines neuroscience, psychology and education to create improved teaching methods and curricula.

Neuroscience[10] is the scientific study of the nervous system.

Neuroimaging[11] includes the use of various techniques to either directly or indirectly image the structure, function/pharmacology of the nervous system. It is a relatively new discipline within medicine and neuroscience/psychology.

Neuroculture[12] is the relation between the sciences that study the functioning of the brain and culture.

Neuromyth[13] is a commonly-held false belief about neuroscience

Neuroeducators[14]are specially trained professionals who guide the introduction of cognitive neuroscience into educational practice in a sensible and ethical manner

Neurolanguage coaching® is a new approach and method of foreign language learning which encompasses principles and models of traditional coaching together with neuroscience and how the brain likes to learn. According to Zeppos, “the definition of the approach advocated by ELC as “neurolanguage coaching” is obviously deriving from the scientific findings and research carried out not only in Neurolinguistics but also with the added dimension of Neuroscience, in particular with emphasis on how new neural networks and synaptic firing can occur/and form while learning a language (Paling, 2013a, p. 18).[15]

Neuroleadership refers to the application of findings from neuroscience to the field of leadership. The term was first coined by Dr David Rock.[16][

NeuroMovement® is a holistic approach to human functioning and action, based in the understanding that movement is the language of the brain.[17]



[3]Sheridan, K., E. Zinchenko, and H. Gardner, Neuroethics in Education. Unpublished Manuscript, 2005

[4]OECD, Understanding the Brain: Towards a New Learning Science, OECD, Editor. 2002.

[5] Petitto, LA; Dunbar, K (2004). Fischer, K; Katzir, T, eds. “Building Usable Knowledge in Mind, Brain, & Education”. Cambridge University Press

[6]Frith, C (2007). Making Up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-6022-3.








[14]Sheridan, K., E. Zinchenko, and H. Gardner, Neuroethics in Education. Unpublished Manuscript, 2005




© 2024 Rachel Marie Paling

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