Thursday, April 19, 2012

Getting the "fat" out of pronunciation teaching

From my perspective--and take this for what it is worth, probably the best models for understanding efficient pronunciation teaching and learning are physical conditioning and fat loss systems. And not all of them. In fact, my favorite for some time has been Craig Ballantyne's "Turbulence Training" system.  I don't recommend that you go out and buy his stuff immediately, but his approach to training is a good "buy," to say the least.  Full disclosure: I am absolutely addicted to high-intensity weight training done three times a week.That practice regimen obviously influences my thinking and approach to this kind of teaching as well. The above link takes you to his website and his audio introduction to that system. If you are (a) not a regular exerciser, (b) would really like to slim down but don't have the time or understanding of how to do it,  or (c) do not have a system for getting learners to practice their pronunciation regularly, it is worth listening to for the first 15 minutes (the last five is pitch for you to buy the books, etc.) The analogy between high intensity weight training and full-body, multiple modality, (haptic-integrated!) pronunciation training and change is more than an analogy. The principles are virtually identical. As Craig says, training should be fun, intense and efficient. Does that describe your system? 

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