Friday, April 27, 2012

Modelling in pronunciation instruction

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In working with directed body movement, especially upper body gestures and haptic anchoring in pronunciation teaching as we do, the model presented to students is vitally important. The EHIEP approach is based on the principle that the initial model for learners should be provided on video, not by the instructor, him or herself, at the front of the class. (You can either use EHIEP Youtube videos, such as those linked off this blog--or those that will be available in the near future as a complete package--or you can simply make them yourself!)  Follow up, of course, can be done from the front or wherever, once the visual and haptic model is established. In other words, you don't have to be a model to model . . . but there is much we can learn from those who do. Here are the seven principles for becoming a fashion model from (My comments are in italics following each!)
A. Do your research - To do process-experiential work takes a good understanding of how experiential learning happens and especially the typical benchmarks involved. 
B. Be prepared - Once students have some initial practice of the pedagogical movement patterns, to then exploit those in class requires that the instructor have done some serious practice outside of class in preparation. For some "kinaesthetically gifted" instructors, however, just learning the protocols along with their students is sufficient!
C. Make your portfolio "picture perfect" - As noted in earlier blogposts, having a very clear, consistent visual model to practice with for some learners is critical. For others (probably 75%), any close approximation is fine.
D. Be yourself - If using directed movement with the class does not fit your style of personal presentation in the classroom, just assign the videos has homework. (Again, either those available online or homemade ones are good enough.)
E. Smile for the camera - Once you get going with haptic-integrated work, video yourself several times doing the techniques outside of class to see what your visual model looks like to your students. It may require a little reflection and practice to present a comfortable, confident image that will convey the haptic anchoring efficiently and professionally. (Of course that is a good principle for developing your model in ALL classroom instruction!)
F. Speak up! - Coordination of voice and directed pedagogical movement patterns takes a little practice. Initially, your voice may sound a bit artificial, as you focus more on getting the movement right, rather than being reasonably authentic and expressive. But it comes quickly!
G. Read before signing on the dotted line! -  Like any teaching methodology, PEPI requires both informed understanding of the concepts involved and concrete, physical experience with it to be able to work with it successfully. "Just do-ing it!" is not enough . . . You (or at least your body) has gotta love it as well! 

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