Centre International de Formation et de Recherche en Approche Neurolinguistique et en Neuroéducation

Neurolinguistic Approach (NLA)

The Neurolingistic Approach (NLA) for acquiring a second or foreign language (L2/FL) is a new paradigm for teaching/learning L2/FL communication skills in an institutional setting.

A new methodological approach

This new approach was designed by Claude Germain (Emeritus Professor, UQAM and South China Normal University) and Joan Netten (professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland) in the context of the emerging influence, in education, of neuroscience. It is based on M. Paradis’ neurolinguistic theory of bilingualisms (1994, 2004, 2009), as well as on studies in cognitive neuroscience by N. Ellis (2011) and N. Segalowitz (2010); it is also influenced by the views of L. Vygotsky (1934/1985) on the role played by social interaction in learning.

Five fundamental principles

These were set out by C. Germain and J. Netten (2011, 2012), who define the conditions for maximising the potential of learners’ brains in the classroom when the goal is, firstly, to develop the ability to spontaneously communicate orally in an L2/FL, i.e. to build an internal language proficiency that optimises the subsequent development of reading and writing skills (Germain and Netten, 2013).

An approach based on authentic communication

The NLA bases itself on the use of authentic communication and on exploiting social interactions. In this way, it allows learners to develop the necessary intelligibility and spontaneity, while also boosting their motivation through the whole learning process, which explains its growing popularity across the globe among teachers who find here the proof of its efficiency, alongside the empirical on-the-ground research that attest o its results.

The NLA thus provides a double pedagogical benefit: for learners, who see rapid growth in their target language fluency and accuracy, but also for teachers, who see genuine progress with less preparation time and classroom effort than the methods they used previously required.

Claude_Germain

Claude Germain

Pd.D. in Linguistics; Ph.D. in Epistemology

Co-designer of the neurolinguistic approach, Emeritus Professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM, Canada), and Emeritus Professor at the South China Normal University (SCNU).

CiFRAN-Joan-Netten

Joan Netten

Ph.D. in Education

Co-designer of the neurolinguistic approach, Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada), awarded the Order of Canada for her work promoting the development of the French language in Canada.

NLA1 – Initial training in the Neurolinguistic Approach to teaching second/foreign languages

This training workshop allows participants to acquire both the theoretical foundations of and practical experience in the essential teaching strategies that are at the heart of the Neurolinguistic Approach.

The workshop introduces the authentic communication approach, which allows language learners to develop the fluency and accuracy needed to acquire linguistic competency from the earliest levels, all the while fostering strong motivation during the entire learning process.

Intended for second- or foreign-language teachers, as well as for future teachers and education supervisors.

This 60-hour course is divided into 35 in-class workshop hours and 25 hours of personal work (guided autonomy), 5 to be completed before the workshop and 20 after.

5 days

Day 1: Theoretical framework

• The needs of language teachers/trainers, analysis of teaching practices and classroom results

• Beliefs about L2 acquisition

• The need for a new approach

• The conditions for the emergence of the Neurolinguistic Approach

• The NLA’s five fundamental principles

• Majors changes for curricula and pedagogy

• Experimental results

Day 2: Teaching strategies for oral proficiency

• The deadly sins, or common inefficient teaching strategies

• The 7 deadly sins for oral development

• Demonstrations of effective NLA strategies

• Simulations

• Practice in real classrooms (with real learners)

Day 3: Teaching strategies for reading

• The 3 deadly sins for reading development

• Demonstrations of effective NLA strategies

• Simulations

• Practice in real classrooms (with real learners)

Day 4: Teaching strategies for writing

• The 3 deadly sins for writing development

• Demonstrations of effective NLA strategies

• Simulations

• Practice in real classrooms (with real learners)

Day 5: Review and synthesis

• Review of teachers’ common beliefs

• Review of the neurolinguistic theory and neuroeducation

• Review of the participants’ practices and the learners’ reactions

• Discussions on how to adapt workshop content to the participants/teachers’ teaching contexts

• CiFRAN’s research groups (NLA and others) and training follow-up

• Instructions for final task (to be handed in within 3 months for CAP-NLA validation)

• End of workshop

This 60-hour course leads to an NLA1 Certificate (Certified NLA Practitioner).

NLA2 – Advanced training in teaching in accordance with the Neurolinguistic Approach

Intended for L2/FL teachers who have completed initial training in the NLA, this course aims to consolidate the application of the Neurolinguistic Approach’s strategies, to enrich their understanding of educational neuroscience, and to introduce them to the competencies required of teacher-trainers. This course is particularly recommended for learning supervisors, educational consultants, and those responsible for training teachers required to implement the NLA.

This course applies a reflective observation approach that will reinforce both the pedagogical knowledge and the educational skills at the basis of the NLA; it also allows participating teachers to develop the professional attitudes needed to analyse teaching practices, whether their own or those of their colleagues.

Intended for NLA practitioners who wish to improve their field-level practical skills.

This 60-hour course is divided into 35 in-class workshop hours and 25 hours of personal work (guided autonomy), 5 to be completed before the workshop and 20 after.

5 days

Day 1: Theoretical framework and optimising development of oral proficiency

• Review of the NLA’s fundamental principles, based on the teachers’ experiences

• From results obtained in cognitive neuroscience to definitions of neuroeducation, neurodidactics and neurodidactics specific to language teaching

• Pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical skills, teacher trainer knowledge, teacher trainer skills

• The deadly sins of beginner NLA practitioners at the oral stage

• Teaching practices for oral language

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

Day 2: Optimising development of oral proficiency and of reading narrative texts

• Teaching practices for oral language (cont’d)

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

• The deadly sins of beginner NLA practitioners at the narrative text reading stage

• Teaching practices for reading narrative texts

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

Day 3: Optimising the teaching of reading narrative texts and of reading of informative texts

• Teaching practices for reading narrative texts (cont’d)

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

• The deadly sins of beginner NLA practitioners at the informative text reading stage

• Teaching practices for reading informative texts

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

Day 4: Optimising the teaching of reading informative texts and of writing

• Teaching practices for reading informative texts (cont’d)

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

• The deadly sins of beginner NLA practitioners at the writing stage

• Teaching practices for writing

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

Day 5: Optimising the teaching of writing, reminder of the NLA circle, and wrap-up

• Teaching practices for writing (cont’d)

• Feedback from participants regarding practices observed

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ feedback

• Closing the circle and spirality

• The role of synthesising

• Instructions for the certification work for the suggested level

• Closing reception

This 60-hour course leads to an NLA2 Certificate (Certified NLA Counsellor).

NLA3 – Designing teaching materials to use which the Neurolinguistic Approach

Intended for NLA-certified L2/FL teachers (who have obtained an NLA1 or NLA2 practitioner’s certificate), this course is specifically tailored to training managers, pedagogical supervisors, and educational consultants who wish to develop teaching materials in line with the Neurolinguistic Approach to teaching second/foreign languages.

This course applies an approach to educational design that allows participating teachers to acquire perspective on teaching materials widely used in teaching contexts analogous to their own as well as to develop, together with their peers and under the trainers’ supervision, a pilot NLA teaching unit matching their learners’ specific/ needs.

Intended for NLA practitioners who wish to develop NLA-specific teaching materials.

This 60-hour course is divided into 35 in-class workshop hours and 25 hours of personal work (guided autonomy), 5 to be completed before the workshop and 20 after.

5 days

Day 1: Theoretical framework

• Review of the NLA’s bases: acquiring an L2/FL via literacy and literacy-based pedagogy, cognitive functions, Bloom’s taxonomy

• Analysis of an NLA teaching unit for beginners (adults)

• Analysis of an NLA teaching unit for advanced levels

• The deadly sins of designing NLA teaching units

• The deadly sins of writing NLA teaching units

Day 2: Developing the benchmarks for NLA teaching units

• From areas of interest to classroom projects

• How to develop narrative texts

• Choosing model sentences

• Choosing reading texts

• How to adapt informative texts

Day 3: Developing the supporting materials of an NLA teaching unit

• How to develop narrative texts

• Contextualisation and synthesis from the perspective of developing L2 literacy

• Integrating routines and supplementary activities

Day 4: Review of completed teaching-unit projects

• Presentation of the pilot units created

• Practicing the various proposed activities

• Feedback from workshop leaders on participants’ production

• Formatting of the pilot units

Day 5: Synthesis and summing-up

• Question corner

• Instructions for final task to be handed in

• End of workshop

This 60-hour course leads to an NLA3 Certificate (Certified Developer of NLA-Specific Pedagogical Material).

NLA4 – Neurolinguistic Approach-specific evaluation tools

Intended for NLA-certified L2/FL teachers (who have received an NLA1 or NLA2 Practitioner’s certificate, or an NLA3 Teaching Materials Development certificate), this course is designed to allow participants to acquire the theoretical foundations, the tools, and the practical techniques for testing the competencies in oral interactions, reading, and writing of second- or foreign-language learners, in order to evaluate them according to the evaluation scales used in NLA training (OPI scale) in light of other evaluation scales (CCLB, CEFR).

This course applies an approach to analysing learners’ performances that allows participating teachers/evaluators to familiarise themselves step by step with OPI evaluation standards, before practicing using this evaluation tool by calibrating their evaluations in order to conform with this system’s norms. The OPI system will also be compared to other evaluation systems (used in Canada or in Europe).

Intended for NLA practitioners who wish to evaluate language learners according to the criteria used in the CiFRAN’s research protocols.

This 60-hour course is divided into 35 in-class workshop hours and 25 hours of personal work (guided autonomy), 5 to be completed before the workshop and 20 after.

5 days

Day 1: The OPI evaluation system

• Contexts leading to the development of proficiency evaluation

• The evaluation’s aims

• Level descriptions

• Comparison of the OPI scale and other scales

• Interview structure

• Interview process

• Results processing

Day 2: OPI interviews according to proficiency levels

• Collective Beginner 1 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective Beginner 2 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective Intermediate 1 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective Intermediate 2 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Review of the day

Day 3: Calibrating the OPI evaluation/scale

• Collective Intermediate 3 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective Advanced 1 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective Advanced 2 evaluation, simulation

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective evaluation, Unknown 1

• Discussion of evaluations

• Review of the day

Day 4: Training in the OPI evaluation

• Collective evaluation, Unknown 2

• Discussion of evaluations

• Collective evaluation, Unknown 3

• Discussion of evaluations

• Genuine collective evaluation of a learner of unknown level

• Discussion of evaluations

• Refresher on the evaluator’s deadly sins

• Review of the day

Day 5: Putting the OPI evaluation/scale in perspective

• Genuine evaluation, in small groups, of learners of unknown level

• Discussion of the evaluations

• Comparison of OPI evaluation procedures and other tests (DELF, etc.)

• Question corner: meeting with expert

• Instructions for obtaining the NLA4 evaluator certificate

• Closing reception

This 60-hour course leads to an NLA2 Certificate (Certified NLA Counsellor).

CiFRAN

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CiFRAN - Centre International de Formation et de Recherche en Approche Neurolinguistique et en Neuroéducation

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