Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pronunciation teaching without repetition?

Clip art: Clker
Indeed. In a good paper in the Proceedings of the 2011 PSLLT Conference, Messum, applying his application of Gattegno's work, Teaching pronunciation without using imitation: Why and how," makes that argument persuasively. As noted in previous posts, I am a fan of Messum and Young's PronSci. The problem with their framework, as he readily concedes, is that it takes a rather radical change of approach and re-training to work within "Silent Way" methodology. That it works in some contexts is irrefutable, with over 50 years of "data" and experience to draw on.

(To repeat again!) my reservations about that approach are only that it (a) is relatively difficult and time consuming to learn to do well, that it (b) has a strong "visual-auditory" bias in basic classroom "inter-diction," and that it (c) depends on associating approximation of motor control of sounds with auditory schema, mediated by color-coded symbols. In other words, the anchoring and keys to accessing anchored sounds are essentially visual-auditory, not haptic as in EHIEP. Our experience is simply that haptic-integrated anchoring is more efficient and accessible to instructors, especially for those with little or no previous training in linguistics and pronunciation teaching.

But don't take my word for it or Messum's. Get trained in the Silent Way so you can work with it in one class and see how it works . . . and then get the complete EHIEP system of haptic videos (which will be available in late Spring 2013) and let it train you and your students in 8, 30-minute weekly segments . . . Note: Versions of many of the basic EHIEP system haptic videos are linked off the blog in earlier posts. If you are interested in seeing some recent, pre-release stuff and perhaps field testing it in your class for us, let me know (!

Full citation: Messum, P. (2012). Teaching pronunciation without using imitation: Why and how. In. J. Levis & K. LeVelle (Eds.). Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Sept. 2011. (pp. 154-160). Ames, IA: Iowa State University.

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