TESLing Spring Forum 2018




Dr. Robert B. Griffin


Robert B. Griffin is Professor of TESOL at Oklahoma City University where he has taught since 2004. He teaches courses on linguistic theory, methods of TESOL, assessment, second language phonology, psycholinguistics and methods of research. Dr. Griffin’s areas of scholarship focus on Second Language Phonology, Interlanguage Pragmatics, and Brain-Based Approaches in the Second Language Classroom. He has presented at numerous venues and regularly reviews manuscripts for Lingua, SYSTEM and Language Learning Quarterly. Griffin is an ELL teacher trainer and has taught non-native speakers of English in a variety of national and international settings at various proficiency levels for over 30 years. He is involved professionally in TESOL as Past-President of the Oklahoma affiliate to the TESOL International Association, currently serves on the TESOL International Professional Standards Council and chairs the TESOL Forum for Cuban Affairs. Dr. Griffin received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University-Bloomington.




Re-Envisioning What is Old as New: Neuroscience

And a Teaching Agenda for the 21st-Century Learner


The classroom of today is challenged by the lure of ever-more enticing methods of instruction and the novel technologies to support it. As teachers attempt to keep up with the latest trends, the question of stimulating the digital native is becoming increasingly elusive. Re-Searching the 21st Century learner indicates an insatiable appetite for new forms of stimulation with educators seeking novel teaching applications that attract learners to appreciate reality beyond an ipad screen.

Researchers, curriculum developers, administrators and parents need to cautiously evaluate the path of innovation that frames education today. How are we impacting the new language learner as we reach for another classroom novelty? As the search for new approaches to classroom teaching continues, we need to consider that for every innovative teaching technique incorporated into the lesson plan, the threshold for stimulating the learner is also increasing, leaving our classrooms mundane from the perspective of the student, and, consequently, eroding the inquisitive nature of the language learner doomed to listlessness and boredom.

What should responsible and sustainable innovation in education look like for the contemporary language learner? Such innovation does not signify the addition of more virtual “bells and whistles” to the classroom environment, but, rather, a re-examination of creative approaches to language learning that promote sensible brain activation. Such a re-evaluation of time-honored approaches that are based on the neuroscience of learning can lead to a pedagogy that is accountable to its constituents by promoting effective learning and a return to appreciating what is old in a new light.