Monday, September 3, 2012

Form-focused pronunciation teaching: just a memory?

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
Now here is a piece of research that resonates--at least with me. Research by Parvizi at Stanford has demonstrated, in effect, that mathematical reasoning can interfere with memory for events and other holistic, "non-rule-based" neurological operations. No kidding. Trying to use a mathematical "formula" to recall or figure out how to pronounce something may be counter-productive? No . . . Of course, it is a little more complicated than than, but the basic mechanism involved and evidence of the potentially competing areas of the brain when trying to retrieve stored "stuff" is fascinating. No wonder studying grammar and phonological rules may not be all that helpful sometimes, especially when trying to use what is "in there!" That, of course, does not mean that there is anything wrong, in principle, with formal, highly cognitive, systematic, "mathematical," linguistic frameworks in various aspects of pronunciation instruction and design--just that it does make a difference how learners anchor sound and how they go about retrieving it when they need it. Don't be concerned about the details . . . but do see if you can get the "picture" . . . 

No comments:

Post a Comment