Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pronunciation "workouts" and "work-ins!"

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
Getting the attention of body and mind, or creating sufficient flexibility for pronunciation change, is essential. If you do a separate pronunciation class--a vanishing phenomenon, to be sure, but one that not long ago was the standard format--then a comprehensive body workout like Marsha Chan's is ideal. (The link goes to a Powerpoint but also available on her website is access to a "follow along" video as well.) The EHIEP approach attempts to accomplish something of the same thing by integrating the focus and flexibility in a couple of ways. First, by training students in a 3-minute warm up protocol that gets everything going, which should be employed at the beginning of a speaking class and before beginning pronunciation homework. (Earlier versions of that have been linked on the blog several times. A new one will be up shortly!) Then, second, by embodying physical relaxation and (attention grasping) haptic anchoring, in effect, whenever pronunciation is the temporary focus of "noticing" in any lesson, it is as if the benefits of the physical workout are allowed to come back online continually, something of an integrated "Work-In!" Of course, the underlying mood or felt sense of good instruction should be that of an engaged workout, where optimal energy and relaxation go, as we say, "hand in hand." Work that in. 

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