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Speaker to address English language, brain research

VANCOUVER – In a free forum for educators, parents and the public, Janet Zadina of Tulane University will present “Education Speaker Presents Brain Research in English Language Learners,” at 7 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Student Services building, Room 110, at Washington State University Vancouver.

This lively presentation, peppered with humor, music, and audience participation, engages and empowers educators. Light refreshments will follow the presentation.

Attendees can take a tour of a real brain via MRI brain scan and see how multiple pathways are involved in learning. They will learn how knowledge is constructed in the brain with implications for classroom practices, learn principles for instruction based on brain research, acquire strategies for addressing learning differences, and even experience what it feels like to use alternative pathways in the brain.

“Participants will leave this session energized and excited about trying these new approaches to teaching and learning,” said Gisela Ernst-Slavit, professor of education and coordinator of WSU Vancouver’s English as a Second Language program.

Zadina is an experienced high school and community college instructor and reading specialist now engaged in neuroscience research. She received her doctorate from the College of Education at the University of New Orleans, conducting her award-winning dissertation research on the neuroanatomy of dyslexia through collaboration with Tulane University School of Medicine.

She is currently a post-doctoral fellow in cognitive neuroscience in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane, where she is researching neuroanatomical risk factors for developmental language disorders through MRI brain scans. She is also working on research projects at a Veterans’
Administration Hospital on post-traumatic stress disorder.

Zadina is co-author of “Writing Now,” a college developmental composition textbook. She has presented keynotes and workshops on brain research and instruction for numerous regional and national conferences, as well as for faculty development workshops.

The forum is sponsored by the WSU Vancouver’s Teams in ESL for Achievement in Member Schools project, a $1.3 million U.S. Department of Education funded project in partnership with five local school districts: Battle Ground, Evergreen, Kelso, Longview, Vancouver and Educational Service District 112.

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