Have just created a blog for publishing reports, formal or informal, on classroom applications of haptic-integrated teaching. I have collected dozens of stories and anecdotes from the over the past six or seven years relating to the use of EHIEP protocols in teaching. Some have already been reported on this blog and will gradually be linked again off the new one. Anytime a report is posted there, it will also be linked here in the right column. If you have brief reports or stories you'd like to contribute, email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll put you on as an author. I'll post my first report from one of the early EHIEP classroom "experiments" tomorrow. Keep in touch!
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Oh . . sometimes I do get stressed, Baby
And sometimes, I don't.
Oh . . sometimes I do get stressed, Baby
And sometimes, I don't.
But when I do, Teacher,
Jus' "swish" you'd take note.
But when I get stuck in a backgrounded theme, I
Get real down an' doubt.
But when I get stuck in a backgrounded theme, I
Get real down an' doubt.
I get confused, compressed and depressed
Can't get my feelings out.
I feel better already.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
- Warm up Protocol - Expanding the visual and physical field of operation
- Body Flexibility Protocol - Muscle flexibility of the face, shoulders and hips
- Vowel Resonance Protocol - Focus vowel centers (between the eyes, voice box and upper chest)
- Matrix Anchoring Protocol - Precision of node positions (points where hands touch)
- Vowel/Word stress Protocol - Establish relative conceptual, spatial and haptic "distances" between vowels
- Sensuous Syllable Butterfly Protocol - In addition to bilateral grounding (bringing the learner back into the room, etc.), establish the felt sense of English rhythm groups--up to 7 syllables
- Touch-i-nami (intonation) Protocol - Anchor basic intonation contours and expressiveness
- Tai Chi Fluency Protocol - Fluency and expansion of general pitch range
- Rhythmic Feet FIght Club - Compact conversational phrases and anchor pause structure
- Baton Integration Protocol - Integrate most of the above . . .
If one of those won't "move" you and your class out of a temporary "phonological funk," nothing will!
Sunday, June 24, 2012
- Use only one prioritized list — planner system, notebook, or calendar — for home as well as work. And make at least parts of that available for instructor review or consultation.
- Update the list at the end of the day, rather than the morning . . . including reflections and "data."
- Consider the penalty, impact, and payoff of . . . a task. This can be a radical proposal for many learners, having to take full responsibility for the actions and time.
- Review you goals and action plans each day prior to compiling your list . . . in the morning after coffee, breakfast and doing your basic pronunciation work.
- Before you start a task that is not on your list, ask yourself, “Will what I am about to do move me closer to my objectives?” That, of course, assumes that the objectives are clearly articulated and achievable!
- Give yourself time to relax, meditate, or “goof-off.” (I, personally, also recommend regular aerobic exercise for my students as well.) Even if that only means sufficient sleep, research has validated repeatedly the place of critical "down time" for the brain in efficient learning. (In the EHIEP system, practice is scheduled on alternative days, not daily, although a morning warm up is highly recommended.)
Got time to do some of that with your students?
Saturday, June 23, 2012
- Participants are assigned a mentor who stays with them throughout and beyond the program.
- It begins two years before release and continues for one year after.
- It is a holistic, involving, academic, vocational, spiritual, life skills, and substance abuse training.
- In the post-prison phase, prisoners are assisted in finding employment and getting connected to a local church.
Now not to run too far with the analogy here of "fossilized" learners being "imprisoned" by their heavily accented pronunciation . . . There were two aspects of the IFI framework that caught my attention and became integral to the system I developed for dealing with fossilized pronunciation, other than the holistic, integrated whole person model: the importance of (a) the value of the learner's connection to the local community in ensuring that change lasted, and (b) maintaining a less formal "mentoring" or consulting relationships for at least a short period beyond the program. What I discovered early on was that (a) could often greatly enhance (b), pointing students to quality opportunities for practice and giving them advice on strategies and preparation--something more than "Now go practice your English with your friends or the tourists . . . "
Friday, June 22, 2012
- Ignores it.
- Notes covertly and consults with student privately later.
- Requests target be repeated out loud, by learner or class as a whole
- Leads learner to correct approximation of the sound.
- Models correct pronunciation once or twice without further attention.
- Passes to learner written note on "error."
- Does a quick, impromptu (probably canned) insightful explanation
- Instructs learner to "notice" something . . .
- Uses gesture signalling pronunciation issue (may be very differentiated to indicate part of speech, etc.)
- Points to Gattegno-like wall chart . . .
- Instructs learner to put the target sound or word on personal practice list or in pronunciation diary or "log."
- Has peer point out error.
- Has peer makes notes to be shared later.
- (Haptic-integrated) does word or phrase with learner using appropriate pedagogical movement pattern a couple of times.
- (Haptic-integrated) instructs learner to do word or phrase as homework. (See also earlier posts on EHIEP-based homework frameworks.)
Thursday, June 21, 2012
• The use of research-based, effective instructional strategies both within and across a variety of academic domains.
• Differentiation of instruction for all learners, including students performing above and below grade level expectations and English language learners (ELLs).
• Common assessments of all students that enable teachers to monitor academic and social progress, and identify those who are experiencing difficulty early.
• Early intervention for students experiencing academic and/or behavioral difficulties to prevent the development of more serious educational issues later on.
Tomorrow's post will take those four bullets as a point of departure to consider what we might call "Experience-based pronunciation interventions," a few of the strategies (including haptic-integrated examples) that experienced instructors resort to on such occasions which address the problem, provide learners with a good anchor for remediation and practice--all without irreparably disrupting the overall flow of the class and the topic under discussion. Will, of course, invite your contributions to that discussion as well!
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
In a recent workshop, we had an especially anxious (and nearly belligerent) participant. In talking with him it became evident that the haptic-integrated pronunciation work was really not the problem, although something was certainly triggering his strong reaction to the process. Recently, with the aid of fMRI technology, the underlying basis of such responses was for the first time mapped in the brain by Shervin at the University of Michigan. Freud would have been very pleased, indeed, to get empirical validation that subliminal, unconscious messages can, indeed, set off reactions to present events--based on either past experiences or continuing, underlying psychological conflicts. It is not uncommon for learners or instructors to experience anxiety when first asked to consciously move their bodies in public. (In general, the latter are far more restive and problematic than the former!) Embodiment theories provide a number of perspectives on how and why that may happen as well. Such reactions can usually be diffused in a number of ways, from a brief explanation to carefully staged introduction of pedagogical gesture, but occasionally they cannot. When that happens the learner should be allowed to remain in a disengaged, observer role. (See earlier posts on effective modelling in that context as well.) Although we cannot possibly anticipate every action or random expression which might set off such aversion to EHIEP protocols, we must work to create experiences that capture learners and their attention--for about 3 seconds at a time--so as to at least moderate counterproductive reaction. The disaffected instructor in the workshop suggested an alternative which I intend to explore further. (Just need to find a "new" class to try this out on! Any volunteers?) At least temporarily, we'll set aside all the "pointless and confusing" warm ups and introduction to the various (8) sub-systems of English pronunciation that form the basis of the overall, haptic-video-based EHIEP approach, and, with only the briefest of visual (spoken or written) rationale, "simply" use the pedagogical movement patterns to correct mispronunciations or introduce new sound processes, as necessary during normal speaking or conversation instruction. There is some anecdotal evidence that that works. The question is in what contexts and how efficiently, of course--and whether it can be done without at least a quick, simultaneous, accompanying, subliminal, heartfelt haptic "hug." (Shhh!)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Apropos for the day, a recent research study (summarized by ScienceDaily) by Padilla-Walker and Day of Brigham Young University on factors influencing persistence, examining the potential contribution of fathers to development of persistence in teenagers. The longitudinal study basically asked the question "Can your child stick with it?" and concluded the following about children who could:
- [They] felt warmth and love from their father.
- Accountability and the reasons behind rules were emphasized.
- [They] were granted an appropriate level of autonomy [italics, mine].
- [There were] above-average levels of authoritative parenting[italics, mine].
- [The fathers] engaged in high quality interactions, even if the quantity of those interactions might have been lower than is desirable.
Research on adult exercise persistence has demonstrated similar principles of persistence but generally only in regard to the aspects of the learner's personality or the overall environment provided, for example, by the health club. I have yet to find a systematic study of the relationship between the leadership style (e.g., parent vs facilitator) of the coach and trainee persistence. Note the two terms in italics in the list: autonomy and authority. One reason that many have serious aversions to pronunciation work is that it requires all five of the above--but especially the exercise of both authority and (Here it comes!) . . . power. It simply does not fit well with contemporary learner-centered, non-evaluative and (overtly) non-directive approaches that can generally be very effective in motivating learners to do high level, strategic thinking and reading, general acquisition of vocabulary and developing fluency. (It did resonate well, of course, with the structuralists' drill and practice ethos.) Getting students to consistently and persistently do their pronunciation homework-and providing them with effective and systematic practice at the same time--can be enormously challenging. Are you comfortable with being more of an authority figure in pronunciation work? Apparently, you need to be . . .
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Had a fascinating discussion with an ESL teacher recently who maintained that knowing basic IPA for English (international phonetic alphabet) was irrelevant--for him! Asked how students are to get the pronunciation of a new word, his response was simply ("All they have to do is consult . . . ": online audio from a learner dictionary or DVD. (For some student populations, we could probably find some common ground there!) In phonics teaching there are probably hundreds of "body alphabet" schemas and dances. (I kind of like this one!) Where he actually had it right, I think, was with use of IPA with learners--when it is not used systematically in integrated instruction. If learners cannot accurately relate the symbol to the sound, (if it is not anchored well, in EHIEP terms) it is worse than pointless--at least those sounds that are especially problematic for a learner. As noted in several earlier posts, effective use of the dictionary for anchoring pronunciation, meaning and usage is generally essential to efficient learning beyond basic functional (primarily oral) usage, which requires at least orientation to a limited set of dictionary phonetic symbols. EHIEP work begins with physically anchoring of the vowel system, first lax (what we refer to as "rough" vowels) and then tense+off glide and diphthongs (what we refer to as "dynamic" vowels), something of an "Intra-personal, physical phonetic alphabet!" The best analogy is sign language. Here is a brief Youtube clip of me doing a the "dynamic" vowels. That is representative of the entire EHIEP system, in fact. Before long, as soon as we get the complete EHIEP haptic-videos all edited and publicly available, the training of students--and instructor--can be done in IPPPA, as well! Keep in touch.
Friday, June 15, 2012
We are doing a workshop today at King George International College in Vancouver. One section of the handout has a helpful set of guidelines to use in talking to students about the system:
- EHIEP will help you learn and remember vocabulary and pronunciation better.
- All you have to do is follow the instructions.
- It is a good way for the instructor to correct your errors.
- It is fun, relaxing and easy to do.
- After each class video lesson, you must practice three times a week, in the morning for about 30 minutes before you come to school. (It is better to practice every other day, not every day.)
- It is based in part on research on touch and movement in computer games and robotics--very much like Wii and iPhone!
- And if those points don't work, the default position: Let your body decide. Experience it for a few lessons and then make up your mind. Almost never fails . . .
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Monday, June 11, 2012
1. Touch as Positive Affect - Aside from doing a regular body and vocal tract warm up, the "positive" felt sense of connecting up new or changed sound patterns with "their" words is a definite upper!
2. Touch as Negative Affect - For some learners, getting comfortable with the haptic system takes time. When done carefully and thoughtfully, however, it is rarely problematic.
3. Touch as Play - A sense of focused, yet relaxed and playful engagement is fundamental. directed body movement, itself, does much to create that.
4. Touch as Influence - That goes in both directions: the precision of the PMPs help create a more controlled and confident speaking style which, in turn, affects those with whom the learner is interacting.
5. Touch as Interaction Management - As noted in earlier posts, haptic engagement is the "glue" of many learning systems, that which controls attention and anchors key targets better in memory.
6. Touch as Interpersonal Responsiveness - The use of haptic-integrated protocols in class, especially for efficient correction of pronunciation is perhaps the strongest argument in favor of doing it.
7. Touch as Accidental - The distinction between designed, productive use of haptic anchoring as in the various PMPs and more typical types of touch used in the classroom, such as hand clapping or stretching rubber bands is striking. The former type enhance anchoring; the latter may as well confound it. (See earlier posts on that subject.)
8. Touch as Task Related - That is, of course, the bottom line with EHIEP, task-related touch and movement.
9. Touch as Healing - I could take this one several places but suffice it to say that, if only metaphorically, haptic-integration does greatly enable productive change.
10. Touch as Symbolism - The PMPs are both somatic and symbolic in a sense, connecting the felt sense of a word, for example, with its meaning and orthographic signature, but also involve the set of intrinsic "meanings" listed above.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The advice out there on using pair and group work in pronunciation teaching is mixed. For focusing on the comprehensibility side, for example, Gilbert and others have developed a range of effective communicative pair instruction formats where articulation of the sound is essential to meaning. In general, the enthusiasm for group and pair work, although well documented in other areas of instruction, has not been validated, the subject of published research in pronunciation teaching. Neither has peer-based monitoring and correcting of oral production in class, especially at the segmental level, been systematically explored. The same applies for what goes on in individual practice or after class in the form of homework or ad hoc student-initiated practices. (There are a few examples, such as Stevick's classic, Success with foreign language learning . . . available on Amazon.com for about $265 now!) That is all indicative of an overall "non-clinical" approach to instruction in the field today--the motivation for this blog!
Most would agree that both group and individual work are advantageous in all contexts but often unrealistic in some settings as well. In EHIEP work, for effective results, both must be exploited continuously. The key--somewhat being enabled now by the development of cheap, accessible web-based technology--is the idea that outside of class learners should be able to learn and practice key pronunciation features from mirroring video models (See previous post.) At the same time they should also be working on their own, personal word lists and mini-dialogues, embedding and embodying new and changed elements. Efficient integration of pronunciation instruction in class and subsequent integration by students of those targets into their spontaneous speech, requires both effective "inside out" personal work and "outside in" social practice. The next breakthrough in pronunciation teaching is "mirror-ly" a matter of time--and (haptic-integrated) technology--as individualized practice first more systematically complements and then ultimately replaces the classroom. Keep in touch.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
The value of mirroring nonverbal behavior is well established in several fields, including counseling psychology and pronunciation instruction. In EHIEP instruction, students are introduced to 8 sets of pedagogical movement patterns across the visual field that are later used in classroom instruction. Although it is important that their initial experience with the gestural patterns accompanied by articulation of sounds or sound patterns is focused and multiple-modality engaged, it is not critical that they are able to do any of the patterns on their own, without direction of either a video or their instructor. In fact, given what we now know about the potency and behavior of mirror neurons (reported in several earlier posts, such as this one,) it seems less critical that there is some overt response. (There IS some sense to the "comprehensible input hypothesis, after all!) In fact, an interesting model of that process is the one proposed by NLP practitioners, as in this piece characterizing the five stages of modeling in NLP: "The first phase is identifying an appropriate exemplar as the model of excellence. In phase two the modeller takes an unconscious uptake of patterns demonstrated by the model (this phase ties in with the findings on mirror neurons) avoiding conscious understanding at this stage. Phase three is an evaluative phase based on feedback gained from demonstrating the modelled patterns in the appropriate context." It is often sufficient that students just "get" to phase two, where they have internalized the pattern and can respond to it when later it is employed in instruction for anchoring or recall. At that point the student will only be asked to "move along with" the instructor repeating the sound or word being attended to, but it is probably sufficient just to have attended well enough so that his or her mirror neurons had picked up ("uptaken") and "recorded" or made note of the pedagogical movement pattern earlier. In other words, once well anchored, change just needs consistent practice outside of class and occasional, high value, context-rich, mirrored "re-modeling" in class. Looking good!
- Teeth " . . . small enough pieces so that it can fit down our throats . . . "[Conceptual, explicit focus on form, generally initiated by the appearance of a problematic pronunciation target during "regular" speaking or listening instruction]
- Saliva " . . . soften . . . in the mouth so that it is easier to swallow . . . break down . . . into simpler forms . . "[Basic presentation of "target" to learner and practice plan introduced in class]
- Tongue " . . . works . . . to form a "ball" that can be swallowed . . . helps us tell the difference between . . .sour . . . sweet . . . "[Embodiment and sensory, felt sense, haptic-integrated focus, using standard EHIEP protocol]
- Esophagus " . . . a transportation tube from the mouth . . .closing a trap door in our throat . . . moves . . . using muscles not gravity . . . '[Integrated, directed execution and practice of sound, sound-in-word or phrase in class and in homework]
- Stomach " . . . moved around . . . .mixed . . . for . . . hours. When it is done . . . now . . . called chyme . . ."[Occurring in the next few days: haptic-integrated integration of sound-felt sense-meaning complex in memory]
- Liver/gall bladder " . . . breaking down . . . . fat . . . supply . . . energy later . . . " [Regular, focused practice of sound and sound in words, generally in personal word lists]
- Pancreas " . . . adds . . . as the food leaves . . . breaking down . . . carbohydrates" [Regular, context-based, integrated practice in conversationally relevant language, typically for a week or more]
- Small intestine " . . . the real hero . . . where the real digestion takes place . . . put to use by the body . . . thousands of tiny fingers called villi . . . absorb . . . and send them off . . . "[Appearance in conversation in various forms, both in production and reception; noted after the fact]
- Large Intestine " . . . Whatever the body cannot put to use . . . cannot be digested . . .necessary up until now . . . no longer needed . . ."[Change is fully integrated in conversation; pedagogical heuristics fade out and are discarded]
Friday, June 8, 2012