Tracey is an international educational consultant and conducts workshops for parents, teachers and educational professionals on themes of language acquisition, brain development, learning styles, critical thinking, and teaching methodologies. Tracey works closely with the European Council of International Schools and also with EARCOS (East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools), and the Tri Association (The Association of American Schools of Central America, Colombia, Caribbean and Mexico).
Tracey is the author of five books about language and mind, brain, and education science:
MIND, BRAIN, AND EDUCATION SCIENCE: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE NEW BRAIN-BASED TEACHING (2010)
A formal bridge linking the fields of neuroscience, psychology and education is missing (Fischer, Daniel, Immordino-Yang, Stern, Battro & Koizumi, 2002; Goswami, 2006; Hall, 2005; Schall, 2004). As a result, Gardner, one of the major educational thought leaders of this generation, along with others in the field, “propose[d] the establishment of a class of professionals, ‘neuro-educators’” (Sheridan, Zinchenko & Gardner, 2007, p.11).
Neuroeducators are (a) teachers who know about the brain and how it learns best; and (b) neuroscientists and psychologists concerned with teaching practices. Teachers need MBE Science training because “[m]any teachers working in our classrooms were trained at universities when the coursework focused exclusively on how to teach rather than on how students learn,” (Erlauer-Myrah, 2006, p.16). Parallely, neuroscientists and psychologists need MBE Science training because their focus has been focused exclusively on learning, rather than teaching, mechanisms.
This book is for Mind, Brain, and Education scientists. In some instances this will mean teachers who are integrating cognitive neuroscience and psychological foundations into their practice. In other cases it will mean psychologists who seek to bridge the hard and soft sciences. In yet others it will mean neuroscientists who dare to bring laboratory findings into the classroom. While many educators, psychologists and neuroscientists will remain pure applicant-practitioners within their single field, there are a growing number of researcher-practitioners who straddle the three academic disciplines of education, psychology and cognitive neuroscience that wear the new Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) hat. This book does not claim that work as a “purist” is any less valuable that work in the transdisciplinary field of MBE Science; it does, however, acknowledge the need for new professionals who speak the language, walk the talk, and can work seamlessly as MBE specialists as well.
THE NEW SCIENCE OF TEACHING AND LEARNING: USING THE BEST OF MIND, BRAIN, AND EDUCATION SCIENCE IN THE CLASSROOM (2009)
At a time when parents and teachers are bombarded with promises of “a better brain” through training programs and unsubstantiated claims in the popular press, this book offers a definitive, scientifically grounded guide for better teaching and learning practices. This book is written in easy-to-read terms aimed at teachers about the new academic field of Mind, Brain, and Education Science. Mind, Brain, and Education science is a new transdisciplinary academic field that has grown out of the intersection of neuroscience, education, and psychology.
This book is structured around the beliefs and neuromyths about the brain and learning and how they point to clear instructional guidelines for teachers. Each tenet, principle and instructional guideline that is discussed in the book is accompanied by clear, real life classroom examples that help teachers envision the direct application of the information in their own schools.
The book also includes a glossary of terms for Mind, Brain, and Education practitioners, a sample syllabus structure for a first course in this new academic discipline, a bibliography with over 1,300 entries, and a list of exemplary work in the field that celebrates the credible work in the field. To help teachers in their search for best practice activities, this book also offers clear steps to help filter out the quality information from the commercial hype.
LIVING LANGUAGES: MULTILINGUALISM ACROSS THE LIFESPAN (2008)
Different times in human development lend themselves to different language learning processes due to social, neurological and psychological reasons. There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for parents and teachers related to foreign language acquisition and this book argues that a person’s learning potential can be nurtured and maximized when best practice strategies and methodologies are applied.
By knowing what methods best suit which life stages, parents and teachers can help the children in their lives develop the best multilingual skills possible.
This book reviews the ten key factors in raising multilingual children (aptitude, timing, motivation, strategy, consistency, opportunity, the linguistic relationship between the languages, siblings, gender and hand-use as a reflection of cerebral dominance) and explains how each is important, even in its absence. Chapter 2 celebrates how lucky we are to be living at this particular time in history when languages are so highly valued. Chapters 3 and 4 go into languages across the lifespan and define seven different life stages from birth to adulthood while responding to important questions such as How long does it take a non-native speaker to become fluent? What is the difference between learning to read and write in your first, second and third languages? and What role do emotions play in learning?
Chapter 5 explains how language typology, proficiency, metalinguistic awareness, time, education, age, parents and teachers are described as the eight influencing factors in successful trilingualism. Chapter 6 is dedicated to explaining how the brain works when it takes on more than one language and helps readers understand what normal complications can arise in this process in order to guide them in becoming more efficient. Chapter 7 focuses on how language learning is impacted by different key players in a person’s life, including families, schools and society, and what they can do to encourage the best environments possible. Chapter 8 offers a personal reflection and recounts our family story consisting of five countries, four languages, three kids, two nationalities, and one home.
THE MULTILINGUAL MIND. QUESTIONS BY, FOR AND ABOUT PEOPLE LIVING WITH MANY LANGUAGES (2003)
The bulk of the world's population is multilingual, and one in seven Americans speak a language other than English at home. Multilinguals crave answers to questions both basic and profound, questions relating to linguistic identity, schools, multiliteracy, how languages are actually learned, and why there are so many variations on individual success. Tokuhama-Espinosa combines solid research, humor, and real-life examples into 21 informative and entertaining essays about people who experience the world with multiple languages.
This book tackles common misconceptions about polyglots ("too many languages can cause brain overload," "some languages are easier to learn than others," "an adult cannot learn a foreign language as fast as a child," etc.).
This book tackles common misconceptions about polyglots ("too many languages can cause brain overload," "some languages are easier to learn than others," "an adult cannot learn a foreign language as fast as a child," etc.). Other topics include: Curriculum choice Teaching languages using the multiple intelligences How different education systems can influence multilingual skills Language's relationship to mental tasks such as music and math Languages from the womb and bilingualism from birth The growth of the trilingual family The societal situation of "third culture kids" (those growing outside of their parents' native country) BLA special case for foreign language development The emerging cross-area study of multilingualism and cosmopolitanism Questions of linguistic identity Challenges to normal foreign language learning, such as dyslexia, Downs Syndrome, and deafness.
RAISING MULTILINGUAL CHILDREN: FOREIGN LANGUAGE ACQUISITION AND CHILDREN (2000)
Raising Multilingual Children: Foreign Language Acquisition and Children elucidates how children learn foreign languages and when they can do so with the best results. The most recent studies in linguistics, neurology, education, and psychology are evaluated and the findings are presented in a "recipe" format. Parents and teachers are encouraged to "bake their own" and evaluate the multilingual children in their lives with the use of tools that include a family language profile and family language goals worksheet.
Beginning with the Ingredients of Timing, (or the Windows of Opportunity,) and Aptitude, the book goes on to include the Baking Instructions of Motivation, Strategy, and Consistency. This is followed by Kitchen Design, or the role of the language-learning environment, which includes the child's Opportunity to use the languages being learned, the Linguistic Relationship between the child's languages, and the possible influence of Siblings. Plumbing and Electricity round out the ten key factors in raising multilingual children by discussing the possible role of Gender and Hand-Use, and our understanding of the multilingual brain at present. Chef and Chef's Assistants addresses the vital roles of teachers and schools in a child's foreign language development. A Mess in the Kitchen discusses problem situations related to foreign language learning, and offers a variety of resources to address such issues.