Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Contribution of (Haptic) Pronunciation work during interlanguage-related periods of L2 identity "liminality"

The relationship between pronunciation and L2 identity has been researched extensively in several fields. How pronunciation instruction might figure in to formation or sustaining of identity has been been alluded to occasionally but not seriously studied. In the linked study of "identity work" (various strategies for attempting to maintain a serious "distance runner" identity during extended periods of "liminality" due to injury), three dimensions emerged: (a) materiality (physical, body-based therapeutic or light exercise activities),  (b) associative, social or conceptual activities (meeting with other runners or self-talk or inner-speech confirming "runner identity"), and (c) "vocabularic" strategies (change in language usage toward more explicit or extensive use of distance-runner terms and phrases.) Pronunciation work obviously contributes from all three perspectives to L2 identity development, but the first, especially from a haptic-integrated perspective, is intriguing. That enhanced physical grounding and anchoring of the language and pronunciation, particularly as they influence creation of a unique "L2 voice," is worth exploring, especially as it relates to personal, gender-specific modelling for learners. In the past I had made extensive use of audio recordings of "ideal" voice character for learners to use as targets. With "full-body," haptic engagement, it is relatively easy to assist the learner in modifying voice quality and " voice personality" in many respects to attune better to their desired L2 identity. The possibilities are "liminality-less!"

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