Friday, March 8, 2013

A nose for pronunciation? Nothing to sniff at!

Clip art: Clker
I love Science Daily. They throw up some of the wackiest or most politically loaded stuff consistently in the form of summaries, but there are almost always gems like this one: a study that figured out the social/communicative function of sniffing in rats, by Wesson of Case Western Reserve. (To do "haptic" you just have to look outside the field of pronunciation teaching--at least for the time being.) The subordinate rat sniffs more; the dominant, less.

Relevance? There have been a few other posts that dealt with the role of breathing in voice training and anchoring--especially nose breathing, taking in air before doing a pedagogical movement pattern as you articulate a sound or word or phrase. The physical benefits of getting all that extra oxygen into your brain and relaxing your upper body are enough, of course, but now, from this research we see the bigger picture. It is, of course, important that students do the PMPs along w/you when doing corrections or presenting new stuff. (We do not use the expression or technique "repeat after me." The operative term is: "Do that with me, " or more simply: "Together.")

Observers of my classes have often asked, "Why all the sniffing?" Now we know. 

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