Thursday, May 12, 2011

Learning of haptic Icons

This study by Swerdfeger (2009) investigates the impact of rhythm and "melody" on learning of haptic icons. Haptic icons are touch and movement-based symbols, very much like those used in HIPoeces protocols, where a sound is anchored to the  visual field by movement and touch.  One of the findings is that rhythm tends to facilitate the process, whereas melodic elements (intonation) appear to be a wash at best, in some conditions interfering with anchoring. The implications of this work for understanding what haptic contributes to pronunciation instruction are fascinating. One perhaps coincidental parallel is the concept that learning a set of seven icons may be approaching the maximum number in this type of teaching system. The EHIEP vowel protocol (see earlier post) works with visual schemas of 7 "short" and 7 "double" vowels--presented and practiced with strong rhythmic grounding.

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