Neuroplasticity in the SLA Classroom: Connecting Brain Research to Language Learning

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Kevin M. Maher, Kansai Gaidai University


Modern advances in the scientific field of neuroplasticity can complement our knowledge of what we know about SLA. Through familiarizing ourselves with key theories in both SLA theory and neuroplasticity, we can examine what is compatible and comparable. In this paper, I define what a communicative language classroom is and how knowledge of neuroplasticity can enhance the SLA classroom. Synaptogenesis, synapses, selective attention, UG Hypothesis, Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis, automaticity, connectionism, structured focus, and Interaction Hypothesis are examined and how they relate to each respective field is explained.