Friday, March 9, 2012

Memory for movement in (haptic-integrated) pronunciation instruction

Photo: Library of Congress
Day at Duke University has a research project underway on memory for movement in dance that is worth participating in, just to get some perspective on the range of ways in which your students (and yourself) learn pedagogical movement patterns. There are a myriad of "haptic memory styles" that we observe. Recently, a student reported an unusual style: watching a 3-minute video clip of a protocol about two dozen times before attempting to practice the set of movement patterns, in that case a set of 7 sweeping motions across the visual field accompanied by articulation of each vowel. He reported being able to learn to perform the motions quickly from that point on. Other students prefer to stop the video after each pedagogical movement pattern and practice it intensely before going on to the next one. In all we have probably observed what appear to be over a dozen relatively distinct approaches or strategies. The method has to be flexible enough to either allow all learners space and time to do it their (own) way or train them in alternative routines. Check out your own "style" while working your way through the "memorable" Duke dance movement questionnaire. I'll post a list of the descriptions of the pronunciation-movement learning styles that I have been "collecting" in a subsequent post, so we can compare notes and successful techniques. 

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