Saturday, October 1, 2011
One of the underlying assumptions of this blog has always been that you can often find the best models for a problem that you are working on in other, sometimes seemingly unrelated disciplines. (To quote Umberto Ecco, "Everything is related to everything . . . !) One of the most striking "Aha!"s occurred a few days ago in a conversation with a colleague at the university when I realized that the concept of "clinical" was the key to understanding HIPoeces work, and specifically EHIEP (Essential, Haptic-integrated English Pronunciation). What we are doing, in essence, is developing an approach to teaching pronunciation that attempts to bring to the classroom functions normally thought of as being the domain of language clinicians, such as speech pathologists who work one-on-one with clients. That is made possible, in part, by the introduction of haptic-based, anchoring procedures. The linked book chapter above outlines a functional approach to the clinical practice of those working with various childhood developmental conditions. In it--again with your usual multi-dimensional "analogy-detectors" on-- is a framework that highlights the type of intervention of the clinician that is very close to the type of "work" that we concentrate on. Bookended between the opening stages of a clinical session (a class, in our terms) and the closing phases that begin the process of integrating what has been learned and planning subsequent practice (our typical speaking or listening-related activities), are these stages or steps: (1) Sensory modulation (i.e., initial activation of all modalities, systematically), (2) Auditory and visual-spatial processing (i.e., management and anchoring of sounds in the visual field), (3) Motor planning and sequencing and affective processing (i.e., making the connections between affect, motor control, other processing capacities, and emerging/reinterpreted symbols.) I have always been a big fan of speech pathologists, who can do the heavy lifting of facilitating change of problematic sounds so effectively. Get "in touch" with your local speech pathologists--and invite them to join us. There is much we can learn from them, a clinic (literally!) on how to make sound change.