Sunday, May 13, 2012

Pronunciation rehabilitation

Had a great dinner last night with a friend who is a kinesthesiologist and was reminded once again of the close affinity between what we do and what he does. The word "rehabilitation" in the blogpost title should be understood in two senses: (a) HICP as an approach to assisting learners in "getting" pronunciation more efficiently and (b) an attempt to rehabilitate (and integrate) the way certain aspects of pronunciation teaching are done, specifically taking the focus of instruction and ensuring that optimal attention is paid to it and the new material is best integrated into spontaneous speech. In other words, the focus is as much on how pronunciation is taught as what phonological processes are chosen. A typical 6 hour "lesson" with the kinesthesiologist goes something like this: (a) 20-minute group walk around the park, (b) warm up, (c) specific exercises tailored to each individual's injury recovery, (d) assigned "education" modules such as  planning of exercise regimen, time management or diet, (e) specific work-context physical task simulations, and (f) closing "mindfulness" module focusing on relaxation, integration and attention management. Does that set of six functions look familiar? The balance between mind/body, cognitive/affective, conscious/unconscious, context-dependent/context-independent, and, of course, "hands on/hands off" is striking. And before any of that "course" begins, there is extensive consultation with a team of experts from four for five related disciplines to carefully plan the path of each individual's rehabilitation. What a great model! I am going to try something analogous this summer with a few "fossilized" guinea pigs. Any volunteers? 


Angelina Van Dyke said...

Shall I alert my German friend?

Bill Acton said...

Yeah. I think I have two or three volunteers already.

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