Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Touching: relieving the pain and stress (of pronunciation work!)

Clipart: Clker

Clipart: Clker
EHIEP protocols make use almost exclusively of self-touch, generally at the terminal point of a pedagogical movement pattern by one or both hands across the visual field. Among the many "touch therapies," Jin Shin Jyutsu is well known for its healing and restorative power. In a recent study, where Jin Shin Jyutsu was used with cancer patients, summarized by Science Daily, it was discovered that " . . . in each session patients experienced significant improvement in the areas of pain, stress, and nausea . . . During a Jin Shin Jyutsu session, patients receive light touches on 52 specific energetic points called Safety Energy Locks as well as fingers, toes, and midpoints on the upper arm, upper calf and lower leg in predetermined orders known as "flows." Setting aside for the moment the cultural, hygiene and interpersonal (especially "inter-gender") issues involved in having learners touch each other in class, what we might call "pair anchoring" does have real potential--especially if I can figure out how to use some of those "safety energy locks!" By that I mean, for example, one learner safely touches the hand of another on stressed elements in words, phrases and sentences. I have experimented some with "tag teams" (kind of a nice analogy there to teams in professional wrestling, in fact.) I have done that occasionally when I have had couples studying with me or by using gloves, pencils, tennis balls and other "interfaces" during student-on-student anchoring exercises. That seems to at the very least relieve some of the pain and stress! Generally speaking, it is also very motivating in making pair work, work. In one protocol, in fact, having students use boxing gloves to develop better rhythm (See my earlier, relatively goofy, Youtube "Fight Club"!) seems to be amazingly effective. Unfortunately, boxing gloves are expensive, hard to get on an off and also relatively unsanitary by today's standards. But you get the idea. In time, with virtual reality haptic systems, "tag team haptic anchoring" will be more pedagogically acceptable, I'm sure. In the meantime,  try a few of the protocols with your BFF, "manno-a-manno!"

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