Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pronunciation Homework: Doing the heavy lifting!

As noted in an earlier post, I have been unable to find any good research on the effect of consistent pronunciation homework. (If you know of some please, let me know!) Given the more directly physical character of EHIEP protocols, it seems reasonable to look to a couple of related fields, in this case, formal exercise courses and weight lifting for insights into how to keep learners engaged appropriately. (In pronunciation work, there is a great deal published on pronunciation journals, workouts and after-the-fact reflections on outside of class work, but apparently next to nothing on persistence to prescribed program homework.)

Clip art: Clker
The college exercise class study linked above used a 3x per week model and found that the required regimen not only achieved course objectives but actually resulted in increased activity beyond the course. An every-other-day pattern of practice is also standard in most weightlifting, running and other sports where recovery time for properly exercised muscles is at least 48 hours (for older and less fit, even longer.)

That has been our experience with HICP homework as well, probably in part because of the body and visual field focus and stretching: 48 hours between "workouts" and no more than 3, 30-minute homework sessions per week. The research in "physical" disciplines (See earlier post on exercise persistence.) suggests that short, intense, programmed, disciplined, spaced, regular exercise is optimal. Prescribing and carefully monitoring pronunciation homework is certainly not "speaking out of school!"


Anonymous said...

It looks like there needs to be some work done here!

Bill Acton said...

Absolutely! Potentially very fruitful area for research which I'm sure somebody's dissertation will pick up on before long.

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