Monday, July 2, 2012

Getting a Beckham-like "kick" out of pronunciation

Clipart: Clker
Clipart: Clker
A group of physics students at Leicester University have figured out how Beckham was able to execute those incredible bending shots on goal. What the group found, the formula they derived (with a little analogical, creative liberty) extends to anchoring (making a change stick) in haptic-integrated pronunciation instruction: My HICP interpretations are in italics.

  • The distance a ball bends (D) - the success of the anchoring experience
  • as a result of this force (the contact, the kick) - the intensity or "stickiness" of the haptic anchor
  • is related to the ball's radius (R) - the size/scope of the anchoring experience, both in time and size
  • the density of air (ρ) - the resistance to learning in the individual or in the class
  • the ball's angular velocity (ω) - the evidence of cognitive and somatic engagement in anchoring
  • it's velocity through the air (v) - the residual, felt sense of the anchoring as it is enacted
  • it's mass (m) - the size and emotional relevance of the target being anchored
  • and the distance travelled by the ball in the direction it was kicked (x) - the amount of context and connectedness that is accessed during the anchoring
That is, of course, actually a very good framework or set of parameters for assessing the nature and potential efficacy of an anchor in any type of training, not just pronunciation. In HICP, for example, that might mean, a pedagogical movement pattern which accompanies the overt pronunciation of a word with changed vowels, consonants or stress pattern. What a kick!

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