Saturday, March 8, 2014

You can't beat (?) Haptic pronunciation teaching!

A sometimes accurate predictor of a student's ability to catch on to haptic or kinaesthetic teaching is the "baton beat" test. In essence, all the learner needs to do is read aloud a printed dialogue with some words marked in boldface while (a) holding a baton in his or her left hand and (b) tapping the right palm with the baton on the boldfaced words as they are said. (It is not easy; try it!) Some do find it to be exceedingly easy; others couldn't do it well even if their life depended on it. 
Clip art: Clker
In a 2013 study by Tierney and Kraus of Northwestern University, summarized by Science Daily, it was demonstrated that, "People who are better able to move to a beat show more consistent brain responses to speech than those with less rhythm." The review goes on to suggest that rhythmic work may enhance the brain's response to language. Really?

What we do know is that the "baton test," when administered after a couple of months of haptic-integrated pronunciation training, goes much better for most students, demonstrating more fluid upper body motion and speech synchronized gesture. (One of the last techniques in the AH-EPS curriculum is the "Baton Integration Protocol," in fact.) 

You can't beat haptic pronunciation teaching. 

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