Saturday, November 24, 2012

An alternative (hand) approach to (haptic) pronunciation teaching!

Clip art: Clker
Have done a few posts on "exercise persistence" research, trying to figure out how to help learners practice consistently. Among the variables will always be something like "self-control or self-discipline," along with other socially-oriented factors. One of the reasons I have found such studies of interest, of course, is the connection to movement and physical exercise in haptic pronunciation work.

In a new review article by Denson, DeWall and Finkel (summarized, of course, by Science Daily!) is reference to a study by Denson in which he (simply) had subjects use their non-dominant hand (in this case left hands) for two weeks for various "normal" functions, as all were right-handers, to see whether that might enhance self-control and reduce aggression. It worked! Denson doesn't say exactly why . . . but we can maybe help him.
Clip art: Clker

In the "brain business," such organizations as Luminosity and Brain Gym and many others, use a wide range of "out of the box" but proven, physical, bi-lateral hand and arm movements to manage thought in many forms, from emotion to brainstorming to creativity. They often report or claim the same general effect.

In EHEIP work, for rhythm, intonation, fluency and (some types of integration) the left hand moves across the visual field to the right hand. The left hand, in effect, "conducts" intonation, pitch and pace functions during correction and practice--and regulates overall speaking performance. The right hand (on the other hand) serves as the anchor for word, phrase, sentence and discourse focus. Denson's research is fascinating. Clearly some of the effectiveness of the EHIEP system as well may be due (simply) to increased activation and engagement of the left hand and arm. We'll take it, whatever the explanation.

Will see if I can work out a protocol to moderate the sometimes mildly (or wildly) "aggressive" reactions to haptic techniques of the "hyper-cognitive" or "hapticaphobic"--before they walk out of the next workshop, something a bit out of the (fuzzy-haptic) box . . . (See previous post on haptic "fuzziness.") 

1 comment:

Angelina Van Dyke said...

Very interesting! I notice similar pacifying patterns in the non-dominant hand while playing piano. Let's hope the fuzziness works on hypercognitive and haptiphobic workshoppers!

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