Saturday, March 17, 2012

Looking ahead in pronunciation teaching: future pacing

Clipart: Clker
Clipart: Clker
One of the basic techniques of hypnosis (or great sales) is termed, future pacing. (Linked is the 1979 study by Schumann et al. that initially brought the idea to my attention.) The idea is to assist the learner or client in "seeing" the path ahead to success. In hypnosis that is done by observing the nonverbal reactions of the client as the future states is visualized and then reinforcing them in various ways. in pronunciation work, the parallel can be clear characterization of realistic goals (such as intelligibility in speaking to a target audience for the learner) and/or a systematic charting out  of the benchmarks involved in getting to that goal. In hypnosis, of course, that assumes that the hypnotist and client have agreed to a certain kind of relationship and commitment--and the client is "suggestible." (See also note in linked article on that.) In business, for example, it assumes that the decision to buy the product or service has been made. The point: it is not enough to just "sell" students on the value of changing their pronunciation "your"way--you have to provide them with both maps (cognitive schemata) and somatic grounding (the ability to readily access the body and mind states necessary to do that.) Write yours down sometime on one page as if you are going to hand it out to your students. . . Would you buy it? 

1 comment:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

To how much of a degree is HICP hypnotic if it is somatically grounded and framed into an conceivable trajectory for the student? I am assuming that there is some of this element present since it involves mirroring and aims to reach a preverbal brain center.

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