Friday, July 26, 2013

(Haptic) Marking for better pronunciation: Going through the motions

If you are a dancer, you'll get this one! Dance instruction and the dance "mind set" have long been two of my favourite analogues to pronunciation work. According to Warburton, Wilson, Lynch and Cuykendall of University of California, Santa Cruz, reported by Science Daily, the "conflict between the cognitive and physical aspects of dance practice" is central to highly artistic performance. A new study suggests an intriguing remedy: dance marking (where the routine was done in slow or slower motion) " . . . essentially . . . a run-through of the dance routine, but with a focus on the routine itself, rather than making the perfect movements." (emphasis, mine.) 
Clip art: Clker

Furthermore, according to the researchers, "Smaller scale movement systems with low energetic costs such as speech, sign language, and gestures may likewise accrue cognitive benefits, as might be the case in learning new multisyllabic vocabulary or working on one's accent in a foreign language."

Previous posts have reported similar "marking" systems by "power learning" practitioners,  athletes, actors and weightlifters. In haptic pronunciation work, "marking" is done by using movement and touch to in some sense rehearse and anchor any aspect of the pronunciation. To get an idea of how this works, get a copy of the Guide to AH-EPS, which is part of the Instructor's Package. (See the GETONIC tag at the top of the right hand column.) Another way to get one is to join IAHICPR for a year and I'll send you a PDF copy, free!

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