Sunday, September 25, 2011

Selecting a "sound" haptic anchor

So if you were trying to find a good anchor, you'd go to a "Pro," right? Having looked to fishing for paradigms and metaphors a couple times before, will try one more. Here is the Bass Pro Shop's criteria for a good anchor:

(1) Strong craftsmanship
(2) Can be set and re-set quickly and easily under all conditions
Clip art: Clker
(3) Good holding power (Holds well in all types of bottom: weed, rock, sand, mud.)
(4) Can be stored easily (on deck) -- compact
(5) Can be retrieved easily
(6) Can be released easily and effortlessly from the bottom.
I'm sure you can quickly extrapolate the first four parameters to haptic anchoring of pronunciation.

The 5th and 6th focus on two additional features worth elaborating. Ease of "retrieval" translates to how readily and effectively awareness of the "stored" new sound is triggered later, during conversation or listening. Probably the most important experiential benchmark in haptic-based change is when the learner becomes aware, after the fact, of either correct usage or the lingering mispronunciation. That is often experienced primarily as a body sensation, not a visual or "self-talk" auditory signal that would interfere with communication or relationships!

The final parameter, releasing the anchor, is also important. Haptic anchoring tends to fade quickly--unless practiced and re-experienced frequently--which works out just right for fast, short-term change. So, if your pronunciation teaching seems adrift,  doesn't seem to be "catching," lately, don't throw it overboard . . . just get some better (haptic) anchors.

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