Sunday, June 7, 2015

High intensity training: Mind, body--and pronunciation!

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It is no coincidence that many, if not most, "hapticians"(those who teach pronunciation with a focus on systematic gesture and touch) tend to be avid "exercisers"--or at least try to workout regularly.  If you are not already into "high intensity training" (HIT), you should be! Here is a good article on website that lays out the case well, especially for those of us who spend more than 15 minutes at a time at a keyboard.

It is possible to get and stay very fit in about 3, 30-minute sessions a week--without equipment (a Spartacus body-weight workout, one of my favourites!) The same goes for efficient (haptic) pronunciation practice (with 3 or 4 good practice sessions a week.)

One of the main problems today with pronunciation teaching is that it often lacks the intensity, disciplined practice and focus that it had decades ago when the drill and practice model was in vogue.  We have the solution, at least for that! The parallels between HIT and HIPT (haptic-integrated pronunciation teaching) should be no surprise either. Four in particular are worth noting, especially the last one:

  • Both require intense effort and near total, undivided attention for relatively short periods of time.
  • Both depend upon strict attention to correct form. 
  • Progress requires consistent practice with good form. 
  • "Corrections" or refinements depend critically upon direct reference back to earlier training

  • HIT seems to work incredibly well, as long as you start slowly, getting the fundamentals down. From there you can exponentially crank up the intensity without injury, constantly monitoring form. 

    HIPT works equally well--as long as the basic (pedagogical movement) patterns are developed early on so that they can then be used in the classroom for modelling, feedback and correction. 

    v4.0 of the haptic pronunciation system (coming out this fall) will have some HIT features, especially for core and cardio enhancement. But you don't have to be in great condition yet to do HIPT--just go here!

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