Thursday, September 27, 2012

Boring pronunciation teaching? Pay attention.

Here is definitely one for the "Well . . . duh!" file. In a relatively "Ho-Hum" summary by Science Daily of the work of group of scholars at York and Guelph Universities, the parameters of what it is like to feel bored are revealed. Here is what they have discovered:
clip art: Clker

  • "We have difficulty paying attention to the internal information (e.g., thoughts or feelings) or external information (e.g., environmental stimuli) required for participating in satisfying activity.
  • We're aware of the fact that we're having difficulty paying attention.
  • We believe that the environment is responsible for our aversive state (e.g., "this task is boring," "there is nothing to do")."

Clip art: Clker
Recognize any of those student reactions and behaviours? If so, your pronunciation lessons may be . . . (gasp!) . . . boring--or possibly focusing a little too much on the "inner game" of pronunciation learning, especially in relation to bullet #2. There are certainly problematic features of the haptic-integrating EHIEP system, but generally not boring, unsatisfying and aversive -- or ineffective attention management! 

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