The brain is organic and plastic. It learns dynamically. It forgets easily.

No emotion, no learning. You forget information that does not excite your body.

Don't be fooled by neuromyths. Your brain continues to learn, even at old age.

Pursue creative projects. Keep studying. It will make you happy.

Exercise makes you smarter. Try 40 minutes, twice a week.

Only 10% of brain usage? It's a lie.

You use 100% of your brain every day.

Differentiate your instruction. Every brain is built different.

Sleep enhances insight. Sleep enhances creativity.

Stress is brain poison. Avoid prolonged stress.

Game playing is great for the brain.

Take breaks from work. Naps are good for the brain.

Humans are social creatures. Talk to inspiring people everyday.

Eat blueberries. They do your neurons good.

Small challenges everyday make you happy.

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Welcome to the FAB5 neuroELT Certificate Course: "Neuroscience for Teaching EFL"! This course begins July 10, 2014. You will have roughly six months to complete your assignments. Full participation at FAB5:Kitakyushu (or alum of FAB3-4) is mandatory. This course ends January 31, 2015. You may request extensions on your final writing projects, if necessary.

Seven Instructions for this course:
(highlighted words are clickable links)

PART A: Start working on points these now:

(1) There is a lot a reading on our course website. Take your time -- don't rush. Everything is important! Click on the pulldown menus above to access the various chapters and subsections. New sections will be added as we progress with the course. Make sure you read it all!

(2) As participants of this course, you will be asked to moderate and lead groups when we have small group discussions at the FAB5 conference. The reason for this will become clear as we learn more about the brain, and work on the maxims. But to let the cat out of the bag, one central reason for this is to provide you with a sense of autonomy, mastery, and a 'higher purpose'. They are three of the essential ingredients in successful "deep learning" and teaching. So by becoming a leader and helping others by demonstrating what you know, you are sensing all three of the necessary ingredients (autonomy, mastery, and higher purpose). Don't sweat it though --enjoy the discussions! If you've never been to a FAB conference, you may be in for a big surprise. Everyone is very friendly, helpful, and quick to bond.

(3) Visit our FAB5 Online Forum frequently! --daily if you can. Introduce yourself. Make new friends! Ask questions. Explore -- there are some cool functions built into the forum. Have fun with it and don't forget to bookmark the forum's URL. As with the conference, you will be expected to take leadership roles on the forum. What does that mean? If there is a question posted, rather than wait for someone to respond, take a stab at it yourself! Be the first responder! If someone seems to be having trouble understanding a maxim, try to walk them through the journey of understanding. Remember, a sense of autonomy, mastery, and a greater purpose (helping others) are major ingredients for deep learning. You will achieve all three if you aggressively participate on the forum… and I hope you enjoy doing so! :)

(4) When you are ready, choose at least ten out of the 50 Maxims that you feel most passionate about. Go to the FAB5 Online ForumUse the questions at the bottom of each Maxim to guide your thinking. Discuss the questions and answers on the forum. You will be assessed by your participation on the forum. Both quality and quantity of your responses will be part of the assessment. 

(5) While you are working on your maxims, take "active breaks" by re-visiting the neuroanatomy sections and the videos on the FAB5 website. Choose a couple of brain parts and a couple of videos to write about in our forum's "Neuroanatomy" and "Video Discussion" sections. What to write about? Tell us what you found interesting. Ask questions. Engage in conversations with other participants. If you do engage, this is where a lot of great learning will take place. Enjoy it! Remember: autonomy, mastery, and helping others.

(6) As the capstone for the certificate, you have two long writing assignments. Don't panic! Your work on the maxims, neuroanatomy, and videos will prepare you for your writing. Enjoy synthesizing your ideas into a polished product that you can be proud of! Each writing assignment is expected to be 2000 - 4000 words. We would like to publish the best papers in journal and/or book format, so please keep that in mind, but don't let it bother you either. Just do you best. Use APA 6 formatting, and of course, use academic references. The book list on the FAB5 site is a goldmine of reading suggestions. Be sure to check it out! (Note: You will not be asked to actually publish a paper, but if you are interested in getting your paper published, we will certainly help you get it published!)

PART B: Start working on these writing assignments in October:
One practical paper and one theoretical paper will be due.

Assignment One: Imagine that you are publishing a theoretical paper in an academic journal for neuroELT. What would your chapter be about? Take time to synthesize a few of the concepts that you feel most passionate about from this course. Think of a good chapter title -- discuss it with your instructor. Upon agreement, write it up. BE CAREFUL: It is easy to meander! Stay focused; stay true to your title. Put the title on your wall and look at it from time to time so that you stay focused.

Assignment Two: Imagine that we are writing a practical paper for teachers. What would your paper be about? It must have content that would be immediately useful, but grounded in neuroscience. Discuss your ideas and your title with your instructor. When settled, write it up. BE CAREFUL: It is easy to meander! Stay focused; stay true to your title Put the title on your wall and look at it from time to time so that you stay focused.

(7) Good writing takes good time! Luckily, you have until January 31th, 2015 to finish your writing. Don't go at it alone -- your colleagues on this course are your new best friends! Talk to them about it. Share ideas on the forum. Share your passions! Enjoy your time together! I suggest you start planning your writing in October (send me a rough plan), and after my feedback, start writing in November. If you'd like, I will be able to review your drafts before your final submission. 

Very happy to be with you on this journey! Let's make the best of it! 

Course author, Robert S. Murphy

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