Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Anchoring pronunciation . . . @ peace!

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
This is actually a bit of a follow up to an earlier post, "When to do pronunciation work and what to do before it." In a study looking at enhancement of learning "something verbally new," Dewar and colleagues, according to a summary by Science Daily, discovered that, " . . .  memory can be boosted by taking a brief wakeful rest." Having students sit there in class (or out of class) doing "nothing" for 5 minutes or so in the contemporary Western language teaching program is pretty far out of the box, but certainly worth considering in principle in reference to the process of anchoring learning. The technique is evident in any number of therapeutic, religious and meditative traditions. Research in haptic learning processes has demonstrated the power and necessity of managed attentional focus and limiting distractions, especially visual and past-memory-based. Although the idea of systematically providing brief periods of "emptiness" (not reflection) after the learning act is seemingly different, in function it is not, in part because the overall task sequence includes the "time out" as closure and it does much to structure the nature of what is taught so that it can be experienced and remembered more holistically. Decades ago, when I was experimenting with hypnotic techniques I worked with something analogous, especially in prescribing homework routines for "fossilized" learners. At the time, I did not have a sufficiently systematic understanding of what that should accomplish or a sufficiently integrated mind-body model (See previous post.) We do now.  In the near future, when I have a new student to work with who seems to have the right personality make up to tolerate "nothingness" in at least small bits, I'll try it again. With the scaffolded,  integrated structure of the EHIEP protocols it should be more possible. But try it, too, and report back.  Peace . . . 

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