Friday, May 11, 2012

Triggers that "figure" . . .

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
When you look at that picture to the left of the trigger (or Picasso) fish, what does it bring to mind? An aquarium that you like? A scuba diving trip to the Bahamas? A recent Disney movie? A paint-by-number project you did in elementary school? A favorite sushi? What memory (or appetite?) does it trigger? In a couple of earlier posts I reviewed research on the effect and mechanisms involved in triggering. This piece from does a nice job of informally characterizing triggers and prescribing what to do about them to manage those in your life and work more effectively. The previous blogpost on how anchors work, especially the role of visual (and auditory) triggers in haptic-integrated pronunciation work, was addressing much of the same idea. The Lifehacker review of a couple dozen techniques for dealing with them in just organizing the clutter around your laptop could easily be translated into a recipe for design and monitoring of optimal classroom milieu (cf.,"boutique" Suggestopedia method.) It takes a little semiotic extrapolation, of course, but once you get into that temporary "hyper-sensual" frame of reference--where virtually everything in the instructional environment can potentially affect everything--you are at least capable of making some new choices. And when you do, the impact on learner attention, and yours, will at least for a time work for you. Go figure . . . then "pull the trigger" (in either sense!) 

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