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Visiting Professor Plans ‘Language and the Brain’ Events April 2 and May 7

March 28, 2014

Beacons by the Sea visiting scholar Dr. Fatjona R. Lubonja will present “Neuroscience: Language and the Brain—A Journey of Learning Languages” at 5 p.m., Wednesday April 2, at Atlantic Cape Community College, 5100 Black Horse Pike, Mays Landing, in the Walter Edge Theater, C-building.

Her presentation will cover neurological studies applied to language development and learning, socio-cultural implications and other areas related to learning a second language.

The Northfield resident and native of Albania will lead a second presentation at 5 p.m., Wednesday, May 7, on “Neuroscience: A Conversation with the Latest Research,” also in the Walter Edge Theater. Both events are free and open to the public.

Lubonja speaks six languages and holds degrees in Visual Communication and Instructional Technology and Education from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Her scholarly interests are on neuroscience and education, including language aphasias, impact and influence mechanisms that control language and learning.

“What is language for the brain? This fundamental question is often referred to by researchers in the field of neuroscience and brain development,” Lubonja says. “The brain is constantly in search of knowledge and as such language represents not just random information but a basic necessity in the development of thinking. Furthermore South Jersey is becoming a part of a growing bilingual population. I experience such change every day in my classroom. This experience provides us with insights of what it means to live with the use of two or more languages. Take, for instance, a bilingual/multilingual speaker of English/Spanish/Italian word driving/conducir/guida. The bilingual/multilingual student will begin to associate the word ‘driving’ with ‘conducir’ and ‘guida’ even though representations already exist in the memory. This instant, the brain has to make a complex process of why such representation, where and when to use it, and is it important enough to store it. Some of these questions that shape the journey of learning languages will be discussed at the upcoming presentations.”

The visiting professor program is funded by the Atlantic Cape Foundation and Beacons by the Sea, a public arts and fundraising project that placed artist-decorated lighthouses in prominent locations throughout New Jersey’s Atlantic and Cape May counties in 2003. Other visiting scholars have included a poet, a judge and a veteran broadcaster.