Sunday, October 9, 2011

12-step learner pronunciation goals, process objectives, benchmarks and haptic anchors

Clip art: Clker
Let's say a learner has a GOAL of being able to produce an acceptable "th" sound. A HICP-based model that would give the learner a relatively clear "line of march" might look something the following. (Note: I have linked above one of the most well-known "12 step" processes. I was tempted to unpack the rich analogy, theology and all, between that and this process, but I'll leave it for another post!) Here is the HICP 12 step learning model for fixing such a segmental problem, based, in part, on the types of staged treatment plans used by speech pathologists. (HICP seeks to bring to pronunciation teaching several of the key techniques from that discipline--adapted to the classroom, rather than the individual client.) It helps to focus the learner on what needs to be done and frames the tasks so that progress can be identified. Also, of course, feedback and "homework" can be reasonably concrete. For an upper beginner, this might be a two or three-week project. (PO~= process objective; BMK = benchmark)
  1. PO~ Recognize current version and target sound (aural discrimination).
  2. PO~ Achieve new articulation (target sound), in this case both voiced and voiceless.
  3. PO~ Practice haptic-anchored new articulation.
  4. PO~ Achieve appropriate version of target sound in main word-contexts (initial, medial, final.)
  5. PO~ Practice haptic-anchored sound in contexts.
  6. PO~ Create target word list.
  7. PO~ Practice haptic-anchored word list as necessary.
  8. PO~ Create target phrase list.
  9. PO~ Practice haptic-anchored target phrase list as necessary.
  10. BMK I - Recognize instances (the felt sense) of "current" versions (mispronunciations) in spontaneous speech after the fact.
  11. BMK II - Recognize instances of target version usage in spontaneous speech after the fact.
  12. Goal achieved: Integration of target sound successfully in most contexts.
That protocol is generally appropriate for changing pronunciation at beginning and intermediate levels. Heavily fossilized pronunciation, however, often requires something closer to the "other" 12 step approach!

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