I may have to reappraise that line of march, especially with my Chinese students. Maybe I could do more to attack those negative feelings and perceptions directly. But how?
New research by Wu, Guo, Tang, Shi, and Luo reported in Role of Creativity in the Effectiveness of Cognitive Reappraisal suggests a way to do just that: a little instructor-directed and controlled creativity, something I suspect that only a team from the Beijing Key Laboratory of Learning and Cognition, The Collaborative Innovation Center for Capital Education Development, Department of Psychology, Capital Normal University, Beijing, China and the Key Laboratory of Mental Health, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China--could possibly pull off!
In essence, they confirmed that subjects recognized creativity as a potentially powerful antidote to negative emotions, something that has been established empirically for some time. What was fascinating, however, was that subjects negative feelings about the targeted video scenes could only be "affected" substantially by being led through creative exercises. In other words, they couldn't get past the negatives by doing something creative on their own, themselves, without help. Wow.
Instructor-conducted / creativity-driven / negative attitudes / toward pronunciation teaching repair/reappraisal (INPRR pronounced: In-P-RR). What a concept! Well, actually, much of what passes for creativity training is instructor-centered, not designed to provide you with the tools but to guide you in thinking outside of the box so you know what it feels like when it happens. I was really into that for a couple of decades in pronunciation teacher training, in fact. There are still those in the field, like Marsha Chan, who do that well, the "there are all kinds of really creative, fun things you can do when teaching pronunciation" shtick. Working with kids, that plays well; with adults, on the whole I have always thought it is at best counter productive. (The reasons for that have been developed on the blog extensively.)
However, I may have it wrong. But rather than training teacher trainees in creative techniques to use in the classroom, I should be doing creative activities with them that address their underlying negative feelings (fear, self doubt, etc.) directly. Some suggestions, most of which I have seen over the years at conferences or on the web. I'll get things started with a few that are research-based (and reported on the blog recently) and then you help by adding to the list your best INPR:
- Have them list all those negative pronunciation-induced emotions on the top of cookies or in chocolate and eat them.
- Lead them in doing your basic OEI switching technique to defuse the emotion if it is really strong. (Done with only one student at a time, in private, however.)
- Have them talk about themselves fearing pronunciation in the 3rd person (See Gollum Speak)
- Lead them in coming up with a list of all the ways they might overcome such emotions and then have select students read out each expressively and dramatically in their heaviest L1 accent (I like that one!)
- Have them share with each other in pairs their negative feelings toward pronunciation holding a hot beverage. That one is incredibly powerful.
- Then have them report back to the class in pantomime, having the rest of the class guess what it is.
- You stand up in front of the class and begin listing verbally the unrealistic fears your students may have about pronunciation or those that they may have now but will be "gone" at the end of the course. Also have a list on the board of epithets appropriate for shouting down goofy ideas which the students produce after you state each, possibly accompanied by gesture.
- Come to class dressed as Sigmund Freud or your neighborhood therapist. Sit in a comfortable chair and answer their questions chewing on a pipe, suggesting hilariously funny solutions to their fears. (I sat in on one of those in Japan that was priceless and exceedingly effective, I think.)
- Have a "Love me, love my accent day" in class where students intentionally speak with stereo-typically heavy accent. (Have seen that recommended a number of times.)
Retrieved September 18, 2017 from http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01598/full