Saturday, December 22, 2012

The "Mudder" of all pronunciation programs

Have been trying to figure out what pronunciation systems or books are the big sellers for some time now. As you can imagine, those #s are not easy to get at. The plan is to evaluate some of the top programs for embodiment or "physical presence." Have done some preliminary analysis on a few of the student books from the big publishers which I will use as blog fodder later. ("Blog fodder" . . . nice term there, too.) The idea is to develop a more elaborated framework for applying principles of haptic anchoring to commercially available speaking, listening and pronunciation books. Will begin reporting on that project in a couple of weeks.

The basic EHIEP system provides the orientation to the sound system necessary and a set of techniques to use in working with it, but the point is that those "tools" are then ready to be applied to texts and vocabulary in content-based instruction--where the real pronunciation change actually "happens." With such integrated pronunciation instruction now the "flavor of the month," perhaps the day of the free-standing "Mudder of all pronunciation programs," with its wonderfully clear-cut "follow the yellow brick road" syllabus is over.

In part as a consequence, pronunciation methodology has become progressively more complex, nuanced and messier as the theoretical and pedagogical waters have muddied. Particularly for the less experienced instructor, doing pronunciation can appear to be nothing short of a very "tough mudder" at best. But it need not be. 

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