Monday, March 12, 2012

"Full-bodied" pronunciation teaching, posture--and learning

Three years ago I did a workshop titled, "Full-bodied, systemic, multiple modality pronunciation instruction," at the 2010 TESOL Convention. At the time I was unaware of the 2007 study by Dijkstra et al. (summarized in the link above.) In that research they demonstrated the powerful effect that overall body posture can have in facilitating recall of memories. In effect, by assuming something like the same body posture as when the "original" event occurred, subjects were significantly better at remembering the details, sometimes years later.

There could be a number of explanations as to why that was the case, but, clearly, the body "remembers" or at least can contribute to recall. In HICP work the goal is always full-body engagement in anchoring and recall. Both instructor and student are responsible for at least attempting to avoid any "interference" on the part of the body or distraction caused by tension, extraneous movement or environmental "static."

Best case, following the warm up protocols and systematic practice with the system, the entire brain and body (and posture) should be capable of  focusing momentarily on pedagogical movement patterns and anchors associated with targeted sounds and processes. Worst case, it is just "posturing!"

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