Sunday, December 29, 2013

Time to change your (pronunciation) teaching system?

Yes. Well . . . maybe. Systems change theory as it relates to pronunciation teaching and body-based training methods has always intrigued me. (See several previous posts on that and related topics.) One of the delights (and basics) of graduate instruction is helping practitioners articulate explicit models of how they, themselves, do things--before they encounter or are forced to work with new frameworks.

Not surprisingly, most who have a coherent method that they have either developed or adopted/adapted and have substantial experience using it in the classroom--prove to be reasonably good at evaluating, modifying and/or dumping it. (Definition of coherent method: internally consistent and held together by a simple, transparent theory of some kind.)

Photo credit: Mens
There was recently a nice article posted on the Men's Health website by Dan John, a popular trainer. I have not linked to that piece directly because of "adjacent" material in the margins that might be distracting . . . but it ends with this note: "Dive into a new program every so often and immerse yourself in it. Then, after you finish it, go ahead and critique it. Mine the gems, and then adapt and adopt them into your normal training. But, first, finish what you started." You can, by the way, find  Dan's awesome kettlebell program --which I am dying to try in its entirety, of course, sometime--here!)

Bottom here. Pronunciation teaching is in a very important sense a "physical (as well as cognitive) practice." Haptic pronunciation teaching balances brain and body engagement better than most anything else around. If you are happy with your pronunciation method now--and can fairly assess its results based on experiencing it as a "coherent system," . . . good! If not, try out AH-EPS v2.0 from Dan's experiential perspective: Do it, then critique it. It'll at least ring your "kettlebell." Promise. (Email me at if you want more information before it rolls out next week.)

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