Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Duelling (or dualist) pronunciation approaches and methods

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
In a 2012 study summarizing five research studies on the potential effect of mind-body dualism on health by Frostman, Burgmer and Mussweiler, summarized by Science Daily, it was "surmised" that " . . . people primed with dualist beliefs had more reckless attitudes toward health and exercise, and also preferred (and ate) a less healthy diet than those who were primed with physicalist beliefs." It went the other way as well, subjects who were less "physical" tended to hold dualist beliefs as well. From an HICP perspective, that translates to something like: Language instructors who have dualist beliefs tend to have more ambivalent and disembodied attitudes toward pronunciation, and are generally less effective than those with more physicalist beliefs. Now, granted, that is a bit of a stretch, but in my experience it is almost that predictive. It is not a matter of whether instructors are sufficiently "cognitive" in their approach or whether they, themselves, are sufficiently "physical." It is about learner "embodiment" as a central principle of method, where the question becomes moot, where mind and body function as one, at least when it comes to anchoring change. Of course, it helps if they are all  on the same page from the beginning . . . 

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