Friday, June 17, 2011

Keeping listening in the picture . . . or out of it!

Clip art: Clker
Several posts have addressed the question of the relationship between learning modalities in general learning and pronunciation teaching. What this important 2010 study by Lavie and Macdonald of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, reported by Science Daily, demonstrates is that in some contexts visual input appears to trump auditory input. In other words, being engaged visually in a task may limit ability to hear critical information.

We know from experience that some highly visual learners may find learning pronunciation especially difficult. This helps to explain why. From whatever source, even stunning visual aids or computer displays, "visual interference" with learning new sounds may be significant. The implication for EHIEP instruction is that haptic and auditory input, key components of  multiple modality instruction--along with a modest amount of video on the side, perhaps, is the best overall learning format. Get the picture . . .or the sound . . . take your pick!

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