Sunday, June 16, 2013

Looking for a way to better integrate pronunciation into your speaking and listening instruction? For $200?

Below is a description of the AH-EPS system and the Introductory Instructor's Package that has just been released with GETONIC (See the "Price tag" at the top of the right column! Click on the 'I' for more information on ordering the package.) Get yourself a copy now!
AH-EPS, pronounced [eyps], is a new "haptic" way to teach and learn pronunciation 
that uses video, movement and touch.
 AH-EPS helps
·       Students learn and remember pronunciation better.
·       Instructors become more effective at providing feedback on pronunciation.
·       Students become better at correcting their own pronunciation.
·       Students become better at using improved pronunciation in speaking and conversation.

AH-EPS does that by using touch to
·       Bring together the senses for more focused learning
·       Enhance attention and concentration by managing emotional and visual distraction
·       Make kinesthetic learning more effective and consistent
·       Engage more of the entire body and brain in the process

Doing AH-EPS is a little like
·       The sign languages used by the deaf or baseball players, and “Tai Chi” moves used in martial arts or boxing 
·       Doing a computer or “smart phone” game. You learn by doing exercises with special hand movements, sitting or standing in front of a video! 

AH-EPS has been used successfully
·       In ESL and EFL classes,
·       By teachers who have little experience with pronunciation teaching
·       In classrooms with students, middle school age and older, and for personal pronunciation improvement by advanced learners

The Format
·       AH-EPS has 10 modules, covering essential topics of English pronunciation: vowels, stress, rhythm, intonation, fluency, expressiveness and selected consonants. Each module takes about one week to complete.
·       In the 10, 30-minute Video Teaching Lessons, students are trained in using haptic-based techniques that help them learn, remember and recall new and corrected pronunciation.
·       After students complete a Teaching Video Lesson (either in class or on their own) instructors can then do one of the following:
·       Use the techniques and sounds from that lesson later in class when providing integrated feedback on pronunciation or introducing new vocabulary.
·       Follow up by using the 3, 30-minute, Student Practice Video lessons of that module in class or assign them to be done as homework for additional practice.
Introductory Instructor's package: $200 ($150 + shipping and handling)

1. Instructors Guide and Student Workbook - one free download
2. Teaching and Student Video sets are shipped upon receipt of order.
3.  (Optional) 30-minute web-cam consultation

*Hardcopies (loose-leaf, 3-hole punched) of the Instructors Guide ($50) and Student Workbook  ($22) are available, plus shipping and handling. (Discounts available on multiple copies. Contact:

*Additional Teaching DVD sets ($75) and Student Practice DVD sets ($25) are available, plus shipping and handling. (Discounts available on multiple copies.)

* Recommended for classes of up to 30 students, for professional development, and tutoring. Larger classes are possible, but require appropriate (big screen) video and sound projection. To review the content of the Introduction, Modules 1 and 2, go to:!actonhaptic/csbz, and try the "TEST RUN!"

 The AH-EPS system was developed and is presented by internationally recognized authority on pronunciation teaching, William Acton, PhD, Director of the MATESOL program at Trinity Western University, in British Columbia, Canada. He and his associates are available for AH-EPS teacher training workshops, seminars and webcam consultations.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Haptic error correction: Don't just tell me I'm wrong . . .

Clip art: Clker
Interesting new study on motor memory by Shadmehr and Vaswani of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, summarized by our friends at Science Daily. What they discovered, in effect, was that the impact of training deteriorated when subjects were given positive reinforcement for responses that were even slightly off the target. In other words, being informed that a response was seemingly "close enough," the brain tends to "recalibrate" the coordinates of the target. "See" the implications of that for pronunciation teaching, especially error correction?

It calls into question the whole idea of how we respond to evolving interlanguage forms in teaching. If, for example, you simply model the correct response for a learner and then provide a "good" when something close is offered in return, according to the research, you may have just further confused the learner. If, on the other hand, you are able to demonstrate or repeat the error for the learner first and then go on to provide the model, clearly indicating the "distance" or difference, you may have accomplished more. (Many experienced pronunciation instructors do just that, in fact.)

In haptic pronunciation work, it is relatively easy to visually (and haptically) model off target rhythm, stress, intonation and some consonant problems. In initial instruction, if you have a homogenous group and have some basis in phonetics, it is a great idea to begin with a visual/haptic walk through of at least the vowel system of the L1. (Even better if you understand the basic intonation or pitch movement patterns of the L1 as well.)

Best case, do it haptically. Otherwise, at least watch your gratuitous "Goods!"

Monday, June 3, 2013

13 Haptic pronunciation teaching proposals for TESOL 2014!

The Team (of about 30 Hapticians and Hapticians-in-training) has submitted 13 proposals for the 2014 TESOL conference in Portland, in March 2014. Here is are some of the titles/topics:
  • Workshop: Essentials of Haptic (kinesthetic+tactile)-integrated pronunciation instruction 
  • Workshop: Using haptic-integrated pronunciation with the Academic Word List
  • Workshop: Haptic consonant repair
  • Workshop: Teaching English intonation by non-native speakers
  • Practice-oriented session: Haptic pronunciation modeling with pre-literate L2 adults and children 
  • Practice-oriented session: Haptic-integrated pronunciation homework
  • Practice-oriented session: Speak fast; speak easy: The Butterfly Technique
  • Practice-oriented session: Conversational rhythm: The Fight Club
  • Discussion session: Haptic-integrated pronunciation teaching discussion (NNS/EFL)
  • Discussion session: Haptic-integrated pronunciation teaching discussion (NS/ESL)
  • Research-oriented session: Research basis of haptic-integrated pronunciation instruction
  • Research-oriented session: Empirical study of two haptic-integrated protocols
  • Research-oriented session: Haptic phonetics for phonetics instruction
Typically we get word on which has been accepted in early October. If you'd like further details on any of those proposals, let me know. (