Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kinesthetic vs haptic-augmented techniques

I'll be linking to two new YouTube videos in the next couple of days that demonstrate the treatment of vowels in HIPoeces. The move from my earlier "simple" kinesthetic focus, where speech was accompanied by hands and arms flailing around in front of the upper body, began several years ago. I had figured out that working with a virtual IPA vowel chart and having learner move their arms to positions in the chart as they said the vowel was potentially very effective, but I could not get any learner to consistently go to the same place for a given vowel. Particularly as the arms tired, the vowels quality setting would sink as well! About that time I also began working with Rick Bradshaw in Observed Experiential Integration Therapy (See right sidebar for link to OEI website). OEIT makes extensive use of the visual field and involves some haptic anchoring as well. It may also have been watching a flamingo dancer that gave me the idea of having students basically clap their hands in the correct locations. Regardless, once I started experimenting with that model, students ability to consistently anchor and recall the pronunciation of vowels improved dramatically. It was just a matter of finding the right "touch!"

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