Monday, November 21, 2011

Choral repetition + haptic anchoring: Doing more with less!

Clip art: Clker
I have described the work of Olle Kjellin previously. Reports on his "extreme" choral repetition-based pronunciation teaching method by Kjellin and his followers are persuasive in demonstrating that getting students to repeat a phrase up to 100 times " . . . generate[s] a kind of statistical "feel" for the phonological, syntactical, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of the phrase, i.e. to really "learn" it."

 I don't doubt for a minute that that anchors the "feel" or felt sense described--assuming that you can get learners to stay with you in the process. The question is, however, if our target is "just" pronunciation change, with well-executed haptic anchoring can we cut back some on the number of reps? (For some examples of HICP-type "haptic anchoring," see the first comment below.) Although Kjellin has not published hard evidence on the long term effects of "mega-rep" work--other than alluding to having witnesses consistent results throughout his 30 years in the field,

I'll accept his claims on similar grounds to those made here for the efficacy of HICP work: the extensive research on haptic-based learning in several fields, and our experience with EHIEP protocols over the last decade or so (and, of course, my 30+ years in the field, as well!) So, about how many "haptic-choral-repetitions" are necessary? If learners are in "full-body-attention mode," as described in earlier posts, only a few in class and a few more in homework practice sessions should be sufficient to enable some integration into spontaneous speech. Trust me. I've seen it work repeatedly, "hundreds" of times, in fact.


Bill Acton said...

For those who have only been following the blog for a short time, here are some examples of haptic anchoring which involve touching hands at a predetermined point in the visual field that designates:
1. a vowel, as the stressed syllable of a word is spoken.
2. the focus of an intonation contour, as the stressed syllable of a word is spoken.
3. the stressed syllable of a word within a rhythm group as it is spoken.
4. a consonant, as it is articulated (usually) in a single syllable word

Bill Acton said...

Another example of haptic anchoring is that set of signs in ASL or other sign languages that involves both hands touching. Often those involve relatively strong emotional loading of some kind. In everyday communication we may tough something as we say a stressed vowel in a word. From our perspective, only haptic anchoring that is systematically related to a fixed sign or vowel in visual space is considered.

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