Sunday, May 5, 2013

Symbiosis: Waiting for Godot (and research on pronunciation) to tell us how to teach!

Rereading a nice 2007 article from Educational Leadership by Marzano & Pickering, "Special topic: The case for and against homework," when I came on this paragraph which also could beautifully describe the state of the field today on pronunciation teaching:

"If relying solely on research is problematic, what are busy practitioners to do? The answer is certainly not to wait until research “proves” that a practice is effective. Instead, educators should combine research-based generalizations, research from related areas, and their own professional judgment based on firsthand experience to develop specific practices and make adjustments as necessary. Like medical practitioners, education practitioners must develop their own “local knowledge base” on homework and all other aspects of teaching. Educators can develop the most effective practices by observing changes in the achievement of the students with whom they work every day."

Clip art:
What I particularly like are two phrases there: "research from related areas," and "Like medical practitioners." I am currently finishing up work on the pronunciation homework procedures in AH-EPS. There is virtually nothing in the field that is of use, but in Education in general, there is more than two decades of (often very controversial) research on the topic. For one, based on the general formula, an undergraduate should have a maximum of 3 hours of it  every night. (Next time my grad students complain about all the reading . . . ) And second, the tie to the medical profession, as clinicians,  is exceedingly appropriate in haptic-integrated pronunciation teaching. HICP.
Keep that one handy the next time somebody in the coffee lounge or from the conference podium throws a "Well . . . research has not yet established that that technique is effective!" at you. And, of course, KIT!

March 2007 | Volume 64 | Number 6, Responding to Changing Demographics Pages 74-79, retrieved May 5, 2013.

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