Sunday, October 30, 2011

Native-like pronunciation? You must be dreaming . ..

Clip art: Clker
In a widely publicized study by Dresler and Czisch of the Max Plank Institute, it was discovered that when we dream we are moving . . . our brain responds as if our body is, in fact,  fully engaged in the activity.  The research suggests that movements experienced in dreams may then be carried out more "fluently" when consciously performed later.

Many who learn to speak an L2 reasonably well, myself included, recall those first nights when they began dreaming in the L2. It generally comes as a surprise, often suggesting fluency and expressiveness far beyond where one is in reality. The brain is, obviously, practicing for us, rehearsing what is ahead. Although the same process may relate as well to pronunciation change attempted with mouth and mind only,  you'd think that full-bodied, engagement should make for at least more "moving" dreams, near "somnabulantic" or even some "hapticulantic" episodes! Pronunciation like a native speaker? Dream on!

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