Haptic-integrated Clinical Pronunciation Research and Teaching
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
From vowel color to vocabulary recall
Clip art: Clker
Common sense and marketers' and advertisers' collective wisdom suggest that color does have meaning, some of it culturally determined. As noted in the previous post, HICP assumes that the visual field also "contains" quadrants that have different emotional or experiential sensitivities. In very general terms, we associate basic colors with each quadrant: Northeast=yellow, Southeast=red, Northwest=green and Southwest=blue. Depending where in the quadrant, in the articulatory "chart" (a mirror-image of the standard IPA chart) a vowel is located, its intensity or hue may be increased or diminished accordingly. 2006 research by Spence, Wong, Rusan, and Rastegar of the University of Toronto makes a fascinating point as to when the color association must be made for maximum effectiveness.
In that study, various color conditions of natural scenes are used in different timings. Essentially what they discovered was that for best recall, color had to be very focused and associated with basic features or figures of the picture immediately, and not just the overall scene. One implication for our work is that color may work best in conjunction with haptic anchoring if it is introduced "from the beginning" of the process and (probably) limited to the vowel or syllable only and not the entire word, as is the usual practice with color/vowel pedagogical practices. Remember that, next time you need to makeyour vowels and vocabulary work more memorable, eh!