Sunday, June 5, 2016

Are you an "upstanding" pronunciation teacher?

If not, you should be, but take your time . . .  (We'll give you 4 weeks, in fact!) More evidence as to why, when doing pronunciation work, you should at least get your students on their feet as much as possible (or, of course, just switch to haptic pronunciation teaching (HPT) where almost all training is done standing, regardless!)

I have reported on this topic and the work of the researchers at Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health previously. Here is a quick summary of their latest study, summarized by Science Daily (full citation below).

They looked at call center employees who either used a desk where they could stand while working or didn't. Not surprisingly, those who could stand up performed better. After about a month the effect kicked in, making them about 46% more productive! Earlier studies looked at cognitive function, gluteus maximus.
attention, health benefits, etc., coming to pretty much the same conclusion: we are not design to work best parked too long on our

What is interesting in that study for us is that it apparently took a while, about a month for the subjects to become "acclimated" to the new desk structure. Their evidence for that explanation is purely speculative, however. How the "full body" process of speaking and thinking and problem solving is enhanced just by standing is a fascinating question that is not really addressed. (I work on my feet for at least an hour every morning with coffee. Not sure it is always my best stuff, but in terms of organization and clarity, it often seems so.)

We have seen something analogous in HPT. Assuming the typical pacing of a course, one 30-minute module plus about 90 minutes of homework per week, it is typically after Module 4 that it all "clicks", when generally everybody "gets it", and begins to see tangible progress. Look at the sequence:

Week 1 - Introduction to haptic learning (50% done while standing)
Week 2 - Short vowels and word stress (about 75% standing)
Week 3 - Long vowels and word stress (about 75% standing)
Week 4 - Rhythm and phrase stress (almost entirely done while standing)
Week 5 - "Aha, I get it!"

I have always assumed that it, the "Aha! I get it!" point, was primarily because of the path of the syllabus or that the patterns and techniques had become more second nature. But there may be more going on there, perhaps much more.

If you think that you got the answer . . . stand up!

Full citation:
Texas A&M University. (2016, May 25). Boosting productivity at work may be simple: Stand up: Research shows 46 percent increase in workplace productivity with use of standing desks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 5, 2016 from

1 comment:

Bill Acton said...

Hey! I have to get this ( to go with my stand up!

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