Saturday, June 9, 2012

Digesting pronunciation change: Bob's 9-step

Clipart: Clker
Clipart: Clker
"It'll take me a while to digest that . . . " That comment from a student after having been given the recommended "haptic-integrated" homework, got me thinking. Digestion is not a bad metaphor for the process of integrating pronunciation change, in fact. As always, when faced with a question like that, we turn to Science Bob for an answer! In teaching, I often use similar heuristics in examining pedagogical processes. (Semiotically speaking, process integration is process integration, regardless of where in our experience it occurs.) When I walked through it, I was surprised how it forced explicit consideration of some transitions  So, strap on your analogical transponder and consider the parallel to Bob's 9-Step:


Clipart: Clker
  1. Teeth " . . . small enough pieces so that it can fit down our throats . . . "[Conceptual, explicit focus on form, generally initiated by the  appearance of a problematic pronunciation target during "regular" speaking or listening instruction] 
  2. Saliva " . . . soften . . . in the mouth so that it is easier to swallow . . . break down . . . into simpler forms . . "[Basic presentation of "target" to learner and practice plan introduced in class] 
  3. Tongue " . . . works  . . .  to form a "ball" that can be swallowed . . . helps us tell the difference between . . .sour . . . sweet . . . "[Embodiment and sensory, felt sense, haptic-integrated focus, using standard EHIEP protocol] 
  4. Esophagus " . . . a transportation tube from the mouth . . .closing a trap door in our throat . . . moves . . .  using muscles not gravity . . . '[Integrated, directed execution and practice of sound, sound-in-word or phrase in class and in homework] 
  5. Stomach " . . . moved around . . . .mixed . . .  for . . .  hours. When it is done . . . now . . . called chyme . . ."[Occurring in the next few days: haptic-integrated integration of sound-felt sense-meaning complex in memory] 
  6. Liver/gall bladder " . . . breaking down . . . . fat  . . . supply . . . energy later . . . " [Regular, focused practice of sound and sound in words, generally in personal word lists] 
  7. Pancreas " . . . adds . . . as the food leaves  . . . breaking down . . . carbohydrates" [Regular, context-based, integrated practice in conversationally relevant language, typically for a week or more] 
  8. Small intestine " . . . the real hero . . .  where the real digestion takes place . . .  put to use by the body . . . thousands of tiny fingers called villi . . .  absorb . . . and send them off . . . "[Appearance in conversation in various forms, both in production and reception; noted after the fact] 
  9. Large Intestine " . . . Whatever the body cannot put to use . . .  cannot be digested . . .necessary up until now . . . no longer needed . . ."[Change is fully integrated in conversation; pedagogical heuristics fade out and are discarded] 

2 comments:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

This is a great analogy!

Bill Acton said...

Just read it again. It even sounds better now than when I posted it. I was surprised by the parallel stages, too. Have done half a dozen posts that center on integration processes in different domains.

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