Monday, January 27, 2014

(Hapic) Teachable moments in pronunciation teaching

One of the FAQs on the new Acton Haptic website is worth considering for a moment:
Q: OK, what is really different about AH-EPS from other methods?
Simple: Haptic-based, in-class pronunciation change and teaching strategies (what we actually say to each other in trying to help) for instructors and students! AH-EPS focuses first on how to communicate better with learners face to face about their pronunciation. Using gesture+touch in any class, at any time, in such personal but professional conversation, is very effective at providing good models, assisting with correction and promoting integration of change into spontaneous speaking.
One FAQ in pronunciation teaching research in general today is: How can we help learners better integrate new or changed sounds into their spontaneous speaking? 

There is actually a better question: How can we (as instructors) better integrate attention to new or changed sounds into our own spontaneous interaction and speaking in the classroom? 

There are numerous studies of classroom discourse focusing on grammar and vocabulary correction, feedback and modelling, but none that I am aware of on spontaneous interventions on pronunciation by instructors in the classroom, in real time. (Research on formative, spontaneous interaction is, of course, the focus of research in many disciplines, such as counselling psychology.) 

If you do do spontaneous pronunciation feedback and correction in your "regular" classroom work, record some of it and report back. Perhaps we should make that the basic qualification for anybody wanting to join IAHICPR. (Check out the note on the website on how to!)

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