Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shall we "Pronance?" (Leading your class to better pronunciation)

Clip art: Clker
Now there (with a little cross-lingual liberty) is a term perhaps we could use: "Pronance" (French for second-person singular imperative of prononcer meaning: Strongly marked; decided, as in manners, etc.), something of a portmanteau of "dance" and "pronounce!" What an apt description of the leading and following involved in working with pedagogical movement patterns in HICP instruction. (Forgive the possibly excessive use of Wikipedia there . . . ) I especially like the sense of being clearly marked . . . as in (nonverbal) manners as it relates to anchoring. From pair dance theory, the three terms "compression, leverage and tension" can also be used to characterize the process of "conducting" the warm up and haptic-integrated anchoring procedures. In essence, the three refer to "moving toward, moving laterally and moving away from." Earlier posts have looked at pair dancing as a haptic practice. Given all the evidence from recent research that the brain makes relatively little distinction at some level between tactile and visual (and haptic cinema!), techniques where the instructor is leading from across the room--generally with synchronized body movement with students--anchoring various aspects of pronunciation, discourse structure and vocabulary becomes an engaging pronunciation dance of sorts, a pronance! A haptic anchor involves conscious control of compression, tension and leverage--upper torso movement back as one breathes in prior to speaking, a slight forward torso nod on the stressed syllable, and various lateral motions involving the hands and arms across the visual field. In that "pronance," the marked, decisive movements of the instructor are key. Do you follow? 

1 comment:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

Thanks for refering to the dance concepts of "compression, tension and leverage" in pronancing. It makes the movements come alive.

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