Friday, October 5, 2012

Total recall: haptic anchoring and integration vs cross-modal reinforcement of pronunciation

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
There are an almost infinite number of ways to create heuristics to assist learners in attending to and remembering sounds. For a good overview of suggestions as to how that works in different modalities in teaching phonetics and pronunciation, see this 2011 summary by Wrembel and Mickiewicz  of the University of Poznan. From that perspective, in EHIEP there are half a dozen or so modalities involved: sound, movement, touch, positioning in the visual field (which includes associated colours), sensations of resonance in the bones, muscles and flesh of the vocal tract--even olfaction in the form of aromatic hand creams, or "taste" with mint breath strips in some cases. It is one thing to anchor a sound using a color or phonaesthetic word association or gesture in teaching a sound, as in phonetics, yet quite another to systematically integrate that into classroom instruction. In other words, "cross-modal" reinforcement (linking sound to some other sense) makes very good sense but it just the beginning. That association has to be both balanced appropriately, so that one does not cancel the other modalities (an important issue - See previous posts) and scaffolded in over time. In EHIEP, the "haptic anchoring" (a convenient short cut for full-body, multi-modal engagement) is employed in class or in personal practice regularly, whenever required,  for presentation, correction, practice or integration . . .  total (sensory) recall!

No comments:

Post a Comment