Thursday, December 16, 2010

Teaching lexical stress in Media Hyper-Culture

The continued emphasis on teaching rules for assigning lexical stress, especially to students who have access to good audio sources of relevant English input in today's expanding media melieu is becoming more and more questionable, a potential anachronism worth examining. The focus even a decade ago on preparing students to correctly guess at lexical stress, generally assuming lack of audio models, made sense for many students, especially those in pre-academic programs where their experience was still basically visual, print-based. In today's media culture, where for most internet access to appropriate models of English pronunciation is a reality, the notion that getting lexical stress still has to be essentially a "visual" problem makes less and less sense. In HIPoeces methodology, the assumption is that by effective multi-dimensional anchoring of a new word--including its lexical stress pattern, the necessity of excessive attention to the metacognitive sets of stress assignment rules is becoming quickly redundant, and in many cases not necessary at all. How much time a method, any method, assigns to conscious work on lexical stress rules and its efficacy is certainly worth review.

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