Monday, June 11, 2012

EHIEP PMP as haptic communication

Clipart: Clker

Clipart: Clker
The pedagogical movement patterns (PMP) of the Essential haptic-integrated English pronunciation (EHIEP) system, which involve both movement of hands across the visual field, along with systematic self-touch of hands and upper body, like all "interpersonal and intrapersonal" gestures, are culturally defined and express meanings beyond the specific pedagogical functions assigned (e.g., stress marking, intonation "tracing," rhythm grounding, sound-change anchoring.) Those serve both intra- and interpersonal functions, and given recent research on mirror neurons, it is clear that the brain makes far less distinction between the felt sense of self- versus other-touch than previously thought. Jones and Yarbrough (1985), for example, identified 10 categories of such "haptic communication." That framework serves as a nice template for understanding these "parallel" or complementary meanings or unconscious suggestions inherent in the EHIEP protocols:

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.

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