Friday, November 23, 2012

Do-it-Yourself! haptic-integrated pronunciation teaching

Clip art: Clker
Clip art: Clker
Haptic work is, by definition . . . touching! As explored in several previous posts, there are a wide range of conditions under which haptic anchoring of movement, visual images and sound may or may not be effective in instruction. (According to new research, by Patterson and colleagues at the University of Liecester, summarized by Science Daily, there may even be a bias in favor of those of us over the age of 65 in responding to the typical "fuzziness" of haptic cinema!)

One of the most striking discoveries in our work has been the realization that some of the EHIEP pedagogical movement patterns can be taught well face-to-face but others may be better introduced by a video model, especially vowels, vowel "compaction" and intonation. That video model can be the instructor, him or herself, or someone else--such as in the EHIEP system of videos and student workbooks that I am developing, of course! Why that should be is complex but understood (See this blogpost by Grant on

In essence, it is emotionally and interpersonally very powerful. In some contexts, either because of the personality of the instructor or the class, video is a better option for perhaps half of the PMPs. One reason for that is the impact of eye contact on mirroring in a classroom setting. In essence, vivid "moving" visual feedback from students, whether negative  or positive can dramatically undermine an instructor's ability to teach PMPs. Once they are introduced, however, classroom use of a PMP to anchor vowels, stress, rhythm, intonation or pitch/volume/pace seems to be less susceptible to disruption.

Bottom line: It takes training to do pronunciation work of any kind effectively or efficiently. Either you get trained or have somebody else do it for you, either in your program or through technology. Haptic video and its post-production technology is very promising. I am tempted to use a term like "CAPT Video," Computer-Assisted-Pronunciation-Teaching with Video, were there not already a near-relevant song by that name .  .  .  

No comments:

Post a Comment