Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Whole person and whole body learning

For decades, the concept of "whole person" involvement in language learning has been a given. The HICP perspective in pronunciation instruction, and that of many body-friendly methodologies in this and related fields, is that the full body, as represented in multiple-modality-based procedures, must be engaged as well.

The well-known Egoscue method for body alignment and functionality has for some time provided not only a great way to keep your body loose and aligned, but also an excellent heuristic and metaphor for our work. (The Egoscue website is also linked in the right column of blog.)

Especially for the instructor, conscious control of the body as both a model for students and an a basis for optimal delivery of speech and general interpersonal nonverbal communication as presented in body movement, is an essential skill set. The Egoscue method, through a highly integrated set of exercises, creates a fascinating, integrated body balance and alignment and sense of well being. In that framework, especially awareness of  the rhythm of English seems to be greatly enhanced.

Pronunciation work can be a pain in the neck . . . but not if you have done your Egoscue that morning before class!

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