Sunday, June 24, 2012

TIme for pronunciation change

Clipart: Clker

Clipart: Clker
Following up on a few recent posts dealing with what goes on outside of class, today we'll look briefly at a set of principles of time management for clinical research professionals that provides a nice model for students. (If you, too, could use a little more productive time, this piece could be helpful as well.) In any teaching context the use of some kind of systematic pronunciation diary or log that includes a time management or practice scheduling function can be very effective. I have for decades used both: (a) Students plan their practice sessions that will take place before the next class--before they walk out the door (sometimes requiring my approval as well!), and (b) they also keep regular notes on how the practices went and related reflections on relevant "pronunciation events" (for them personally and their specific goals) that occur either in or out of class. Here is the recommended "clinical researcher's" framework, with my annotations:
  • 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? 

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