Sunday, May 29, 2011

Experiential pronunciation learning

Probably the best model for understanding how haptic-integrated pronunciation work should work is Kolb's (1984) "experiential learning cycle." His four stages are (A) concrete experience, (B) reflective observation, (C) abstract conceptualization, and (D) active experimentation. 

Clip art: Clker
Haptic-integrated instruction makes Stage A a much more multiple modality experience The HICP framework from the outset contains strong elements of the visual/cognitive engagement as well, in addition to movement and touch sensations. (Many typical pronunciation teaching techniques begin with Stage B.) While maintaining the "felt sense" of the sound or word, in Stage C, the learner "attaches" its formal properties (its grammatical functions and collocation--where it occurs in conversation, etc.) as it is practiced. In Stage D, as the new or repaired sound is initially used in speaking or attended to in listening, the haptic anchor (the somatic/body feeling of the targeted sound) should be re-experienced or felt, signalling to the learner at a marginally conscious level such that it is noticed and further integrated. 

One frequent, sometimes humorous side effect of EHIEP work is that a new word is so strongly anchored in instruction that learners may get temporary "flash backs" to the training protocols or the classroom or the specific lesson. That, of course, also serves as delightful confirmation that learning is in process! (See earlier post on the "Hexis" of haptic-integrated instruction as well.) 

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