Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Effortless learning of the iPA vowel "matrix" of English?

Image: Wikipedia
Could be, according to 2011 research by Watanabe at ATR Laboratories in Kyoto and colleagues at Boston University, as summarized by Science Daily--using fMRI technology in the form of neurofeedback tied to carefully scaffolded visual images. Mirroring what appears to go on in real time, in the experiment it was evident that " . . . pictures gradually build up inside a person's brain, appearing first as lines, edges, shapes, colors and motion in early visual areas. The brain then fills in greater detail to make a red ball appear as a red ball, for example."

This is an intriguing idea, something of a "bellwether" of things to come in the field, using fMRI-based technology joined with multiple-modality features to facilitate acquisition of components of complex behavioral patterns. The application of that approach to articulatory training alone, assembling a sound, in effect, one parameter at a time, just the way it is done by expert practitioners--should be relatively straightforward.

Clip art: Clker
The EHIEP vowel matrix resembles the standard IPA matrix on the right, except that it is positioned in mirror image and includes only the vowels of English. In training learners to work within it, we do a strikingly similar build up to that identified in the study, lines < edges < shapes < motion (which is different for each vowel.) Each quadrant is then given a colour that corresponds to something of the phonaesthetic quality of the vowels positioned there. Once the "matrix" is kinaesthetically presented and practiced, it is then gradually, haptically anchored as the vowels are presented and practiced using distinct pedagogical movement patterns terminating in some form of "Guy or Girl touch" for each as the sound is articulated.

Out of the box? Not for long, my friends!

1 comment:

അറിവായിരം said...

O pqrst
U vwxyz this is an alphabet harmonic

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