Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why does haptic pronunciation teaching work?

Good question! Here is an excerpt from the new Haptic Pronunciation Teaching - English (HaPT-E) Instructor notes. (If you'd like to preview the first 2 modules of the course (no charge) and get a free a copy of the Instructor Notes, contact:

Essential Haptic Integrated Pronunciation Teaching (EHIEP):
  • Provides a principled way to integrate body movement into pronunciation teaching, "embodying" a number of techniques commonly used, some consciously, some less so-- emphasizing the importance of the kinesthetic, “felt sense” of fluent body movement and speech. 
  • Is HAPTIC!, using touch to make use of gesture systematic, consistent, focused and (relatively) "safe" and nonthreatening.
  • Focuses on intelligibility and fluency, not just accuracy, but can be used for accent reduction, if desired.
  • Integrates in basic voice training and public speaking skills --especially vocal resonance training--so that some improvement in vocal production is noticed relatively quickly by learner.
  • Uses vowels as the conceptual center of the presentation and practice system, establishing a conceptual and sensory space matrix in which (1) sounds and processes can be learned and adjusted, and (2) production can be consciously regulated better.
  • Is structured so that almost anyone, regardless of native language or learning style can learn it or learn to teach using it.
  • Hooks learners on the process so that they do their homework! (If done right, it is stimulating and refreshing, especially when done for at least 30 minutes, every other day!) 
  • Involves a set of basic, easy to learn exercises and techniques (warm up, vowels, word stress, rhythm and intonation) that are then integrated into classwork as the need arises. Seems especially effective in doing impromptu, incidental correction and modeling of pronunciation in classroom instruction.
  • Balances conscious analysis and “noticing” with contextualized drill and controlled practice; balances energizing, motivating activities with controlled, focused procedures.
  • Is more output-based system, encouraging earlier “safe” speaking and oral production than does many contemporary methods.
  • Is based on research from several fields in addition to pronunciation teaching, including public speaking, drama, music, haptics, sports training, psychology and neuroscience. 
  • Has been classroom tested over the last decade by hundreds of teachers. (Several empirical studies are now underway to better establish the effectiveness of the EHIEP method on more empirical, "scientific" grounds!)  
See also the YouTube summaries of the main modules from v3.0 (Not great video quality but reasonably informative.) 

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