Sunday, September 25, 2011

Disembodied anchoring strategies in pronunciation work

There are good sources of recommendations on how to integrate pronunciation into classroom instruction. Here is a nice 2004 piece by Levis and Grant which covers the basic options. (I recommend reading it before continuing if you are not familiar with that general framework.) Note that after identifying those aspects of pronunciation that should be attended to and setting up teaching contexts, they identify several (mostly visual, aural/auditory, cognitive/noticing) anchoring strategies:

(a) pointing out errors or processes
(b) providing formal rules
(c) oral repetition/practice
(d) writing something down on the board or in notes
(e) student discussion or analysis
(f) impromptu oral comments linking current issue to earlier work
(g) A further assumption is that the effects of relevant context, meaningful practice, communicative "cash value" and student initiative will do the rest. You'd think it would . . .

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
Previous blogposts here have explored in great detail why adding haptic-based anchoring is potentially so much more effective than traditional approaches alone which, for the most part, either (1) stop short of guiding the learner to efficient "storage" options for new sounds (with explanations, demands to "notice" or assumptions that uptake is the learner's responsibility, not the instructor's) --or (2) simply attempt to drill the changes into submission. In subsequent posts we will consider how to "hapticulate" or embody some of the strategies described by Levis and Grant.

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