Sunday, November 3, 2013

Minding your P's and Q's: Pronunciation Change Mindfulness at work! Quiet!

Clip art:
As unpacked in earlier posts, "mindfulness" theory is often a good point of departure for understanding and managing pronunciation change, both as it is initiated in the classroom and "worked at" outside of class. A 2013 piece entitled, "Mindfulness-based emotional intelligence: Research and training," by Ciarrouchi and Godsell of Wollongong University, presents an interesting and useful set of parameters for optimal functioning of emotional intelligence, based on mindfulness theory and mindfulness training:

  • Identifying personal emotional states
  • Managing "incoming" emotion, recognizing intent of emotion expressed by others and appropriate responses to it
  • Countering fusion (counterproductive influences of emotion in ways that undermine concentration, analysis, logic, learning or self concept)
  • Clker
  • Expressing emotion
How does that apply to our work? It is a good set of guidelines for learners to review as they practice, being mindful at all times as to the state of their "mindset." Especially in haptic-integrated pronunciation practice, some degree of mindfulness is essential to ensure that targeted sounds get their basic 3~8 seconds of undivided attention:

  • Focus intensely on the present moment and task at hand, with controlled, emotional engagement,
  • Work at anchoring the new or changed sounds quickly, speaking out loud in an expressive and resonant voice (accompanied by a haptic, pedagogically-designed gesture, of course!)   
Students can be trained to do that. Should be. At the very least something to be mindful of . . .

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