Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bold and shy pronunciation learners

Clip art: Clker

Clip art: Clker
Was "hunting" for some research on personality styles of learners and came on this: "In Elk Hunting, Success Depends On the Animal's Personality,"summarized by ScienceDaily, by a team of researchers at the University of Alberta. They discovered two basic types: bold runners and shy hiders. (Note: This is about elk being hunted, not the converse!) As you might suspect, the latter type lived significantly longer. Ironically (or maybe not), we see something of the same in haptic-integrated pronunciation work. Strong extroverts, although initially often better at picking up pedagogical movement patterns, do not seem to have much if any advantage in anchoring pronunciation change--in fact, the contrary seems to be the case. As noted in some earlier posts, attention management is often more "manageable" for those whose body language is not as uninhibited and "gesticular." For example, a highly expressive Italian who makes wonderfully wide-ranging and fluid use of gesture while speaking in his L1, may actually have a great deal of difficulty in consistently anchoring sounds in the visual field, making hands touch consistently, in a very controlled manner, at designated positions. And like the ill-fated bold elk, although they get off to a great start and feel very much at ease with "dashing around out in the open," they may not last long . . . Always a good idea to hunt them down early and rein(in the)deers! 

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