Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Excellent audio-aural-only pronunciation learning? Really?

Yes. Have been meaning to do this post for some time now. Perhaps the best known of the audio-media based programs is the Pimsleur Method, which is basically audio recordings that learners hear, repeat after and respond to. (There is more involved, of course, but the essential learning mechanism is straight, non-visual, (non-haptic!) engagement.)

So, given what this blog is about, how could that be possible? Simple. There are some learners for whom that is perfect, and, as in the Pimsleur approach, it (oral/aural competence) can be done exceedingly well, scaffolding in material and delivered in voices that--for many reasons--seem to "stick" in the brain of the learner. Pimsleur, like Asher (TPR), was first focused on the mechanisms of memory: optimal content, timing and voice delivery parameters.

What is of particular interest in HICP is the latter, the impact of the felt sense of the voice, both the learner's and the instructor's in anchoring in memory. One of my favorite models in that regard has always been that in the book, My voice will go with you, a compilation of the therapeutic/teaching stories of the great hypnotherapist, Milton Erickson. As in any memorable song, speech, sermon, comment or conversation, a great voice with perfect timing can deliver a message that you (almost) never forget. Just takes a little more lesson planning . . . Hear what I'm saying?

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