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  • Writer's pictureRachel Paling

This New Era of Neuroheart Education

Twenty five years ago the field of neuroeducation started to make whispers in the academic world, concretely in 1988 by the Psychophysiology and Education Special Interest Group. It is now the cornerstone of many research organizations around the world and educational neuroscience or Neuroeducation [1] has not only emerged from the whispers but is now fully underway in practice as evidenced by various people who are marrying neuroscience with education of some type or other.

In reality, neuroscience is seemingly penetrating all walks of life nowadays: education; leadership and executive development; health; and even spirituality.

Focusing in on Neuroeducation, interestingly the more we are discovering about how the brain works the more we are able to bring this comprehension into educational methods and approaches. In addition, when compassionate coaching and more emotional intelligence and heart are integrated into the learning process we are then transforming Neuroeducation into NEUROHEART Education. That is brain heart coherence for a holistic learning and teaching experience. And this is exactly the philosophy behind “Neurolanguage Coaching®”, a new method and approach to facilitate faster and more efficient foreign language learning.

As the creator of Neurolanguage Coaching, I truly believe that the most interesting question for any “Neuroheart educator” of any discipline nowadays is “how can I get my learner to learn faster, more efficiently through a compassionate holistic learning experience ?”

In my humble opinion, modern formal education adopts more of a “telling from one person to the other” approach, whereas neuroscience introduces the “self- experiencing” approach or getting the learner to come to his/her own learning through self-application of the learning, thus bringing us full circle back to the echoing tones of Socrates and one of his famous quotations “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think”.

At this point, the key is actually in the “neuroheart educators” themselves: once we as teachers, trainers, coaches are able to fully understand and embrace the findings that modern neuroscience, heart science and emotional intelligence are enlightening us with – and not only understand and embrace, but actually be able to put into practice daily with all of our learners and students – we then begin to really see with our own eyes the impact that we as teachers, trainers, instructors or coaches actually have on the learner. Neuroheart educators, and in the particular case of language learning, neurolanguage coaches, are bridging the education /neuroscience gap by bringing the science alive in a practical sense within a branch of education. And ultimately, the greatest transformation is in the neurolanguage coaches themselves : the real “neuroheart educators” in the true sense, who are able to empower the learner throughout the learning process.

Over the last years, having worked with language teachers all over the world, training and certifying them to become “neurolanguage coaches”, I have seen teachers absolutely transformed and metamorphosed with their newly acquired knowledge of the brain, neural connections, neuroplasticity and how to really assist the learner to learn more efficiently and faster and also how to empower the learner to really come into full potential blasting away those neuromyths along the way. This knowledge together with the incorporation of a coaching style and coaching principles and competencies absolutely enhance the language learning process.

How could I explain “Neurolanguage coaching” in more detail? Well, it encompasses the traditional principles of coaching within the language knowledge transmission process, but it also incorporates aspects of neuroscience and the ideal learning state according to neuroscience, in which this ideal learning state of the brain is explored through knowledge of the limbic system and how the brain works. By fully understanding and acknowledging that no two brains are alike, the neurolanguage coach then is able to adapt to the individual coachee in front of him/her and is able to recognize how that coachee can relate to, learn and commit to long term memory the information that the language coach is transmitting. Perhaps this is the first time in the pedagogy of language that the learning process really focuses learner-centrically on the individual´s capacity for learning, recognizing that all brains are different and the neuroscientific principles underlying this process. The neurolanguage coach is trained to deliver a constant brain friendly approach which is non-directive, non-threatening, abundantly empathetic, but provocative in the sense that he/she will constantly be stimulating the learner´s brain into language connections and insights throughout the process. There may also be conversations to discover how the learner learns best, and how he/she can connect language learning to real life and to personal situations. The neurolanguage coach is skilled in the technique of chunking language down, providing a safe learning environment and developing spacing techniques for learning. Additionally, he/she is skilled in getting the coachee to set own goals and actions for the process, ensuring maximum ownership from the learner. Motivation and commitment conversations are essential, as well as the awareness of “emotional triggers” which could hamper learning and progress, so there are continuous coaching conversations that keep the brain in a calm learning state, whereby even grammar is delivered through calm step by step coaching conversations, so that the learner can quickly “normalise” the language.

In summary, in this era of Neuro, we are bringing in more heart through the creation of Neuroheart Education. No doubt, branches from this umbrella term will emerge and develop. The essential part is that we are moving education forwards into a new era: the era where, as humans we really connect into brain and heart coherence promoting holistic teaching which respects neurodiversity with compassion to harness and promote the genius that lies within everyone.


Rachel Marie Paling is an International Game Changer in Education, in particular, the education of languages. She has created the method and approaches Neurolanguage Coaching ® . She coaches and trains teachers worldwide, has created the Neurolanguage Coach ® network with over 850 NL Coaches in just over 70 countries worldwide.

Rachel has a BA Honours in Law and Spanish, MA in Human Rights, she is a qualified UK lawyer, MA in Applied Neuroscience and a PCC ICF Life Coach. She is the author of the books Neurolanguage Coaching ® and Brain-friendly Grammar and has written numerous blog articles about learning, coaching and neuroscience. She has spoken at many international conferences and ELC was awarded the Bronze Award at the Reimagine Education Awards 2019 in the Science in Learning category.

Read more on her website.

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