Saturday, January 31, 2015

Touching teaching of expressiveness!

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On February 21st, at the 2015 BCTEAL - Island ConferenceProfessor Aihua Liu of Harbin Institute of Technology, a visiting professor here at Trinity Western University, and myself, will be doing a workshop entitled, "A touching and moving approach to teaching expressiveness."

Here is the program abstract: 

In this practical, “hands on” workshop, a haptic-integrated (using movement and touch) classroom-tested system for teaching conversational intonation and expressiveness will be demonstrated and practiced by participants. The 8 basic techniques include 5 for intonation and 3 others for adding on changes in pitch, pace, volume and discourse foregrounding.

And the detailed summary:

Teaching English intonation can be challenging for any language teacher, due in part to the unique uses of intonation patterns at the discourse level.  Although pronunciation textbooks for students generally present basic intonation patterns with practice activities, that is, of course, only the beginning. It is one thing to be able to imitate or use a simple rising intonation contour on a type of yes/no question or a falling pattern on a simple statement, but it is still quite a leap to expressing a wider range of emotion in speaking.

The haptic model presented has students initially speak along with a model or instructor when working on a new or unusual stretch of expressive speech. Rather than just speaking the sentences, however, learners gesture along with the model to enhance their ability to not just produce but recall more accurately the “extra” features of pitch, pace, volume and discourse focus (or foregrounding).

The workshop is based on principles of “Essential haptic-integrated English Pronunciation,” developed by Acton and colleagues. Participants are provided with guidelines for using the framework in classes with teenage and adult learners and given access to video models on the web of the techniques presented.

Join us, if you can!

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