A recent article by Lamothe in the UK Guardian, Let's touch: why physical connection between human beings matters, reminded us of some the earliest work we did in haptic pronunciation teaching that involved students working together in pairs, "conducted" by the instructor, in effect "touching" each other on focus words or stressed syllables in various ways, on various body parts.
In today's highly "touch sensitive" milieu, any kind of interpersonal touching is potentially problematic, especially "cross-gender" or "cross-power plane", but there still is an important place for it, as Lamothe argues persuasively. Maybe even in pronunciation teaching!
Here is one example from haptic pronunciation teaching. Everything in the method can be done using intra-personal and interpersonal touch, but this one is relatively easy to "see" without a video to demonstrate the interpersonal version of it:
- Students stand face to face about a foot apart. Instructor demonstrates a word or phrase, tapping her right shoulder (with left hand) on stressed syllables and left elbow (with right hand) on unstressed syllables--the "Butterfly technique".
- One student will lightly tap the other on the outside of the her right shoulder on stressed syllables (using her left hand).
- The other student will lightly tap the outside of the other student's left elbow on unstressed syllables (using her right hand).
If you do have the class and context for it, try a bit of it, for instance on a few short idioms. It takes a little getting used to, but the impact of touch in this relatively simple exercise format--and the close paralinguistic "communication"-- can be very dramatic and . . . touching.
Keep in touch!