Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Very touching: virtual inter- and intra-personally anchored emotion in HICP

Clip art: Clker
When we attempt to anchor a new or changed word, speaking it while haptically anchoring the stressed vowel, for example, the expressiveness that accompanies that action conveys or encodes the emotion of the moment with it, whatever it is. (One "underwhelming" emotion of general pronunciation work, for instance, tends to be either boredom or apathy.) In 2007 "Virtual Interpersonal Touch" experiments by Bailenson at Stanford, participants were quite capable of conveying and interpreting seven basic emotions (disgust, anger, sadness, joy, fear, interest and surprise) via a joystick. (The fact that contemporary college sophomores could do that should come as no surprise . . . )

The same applies to the "intra-personal touching" anchoring of HICP/EHIEP. In addition to the four basic types of anchors (ways in which the two hands make contact, i.e., light tap, touch-and-hold, touch-and-push, and brushing past) a much larger set of emotions are, of course, available. Not only is it possible to intentionally and by design articulate an anchored word with a chosen emotion as it is spoken, such as joy or surprise--or a basic feeling such as pleasure or warmth, it is often essential to do that for efficient assignment to memory.

In other words, if anchoring is done with a consciously selected and somatically experienced emotion or sensation, the chance of "up take" occurring (to use the more technical, "focus-on-form" term currently applied in such cases today) is greatly enhanced. Do you find your pronunciation work enjoyable, moving and "touching?" If not, you should.

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