I was really struck by the fact that I, too, still tend to use attention more as a cause, not an effect, meaning: if students are not paying attention in some form, my lesson plan or structure can not possibly be at fault: it is probably the continuous "laptopping" during the class or lack of sleep on their parts. The research on the impact of multitasking at the keyboard in school on a whole range of subjects and tasks, for example, is extensive . . . and inconclusive-- except in teaching pronunciation, where, as far as I can determine, there is none. (If you know of some PLEASE post the link here!)
There is, of course, a great deal of research on paying attention to pronunciation from various perspectives, per se, such as Counselman 2015, on "forcing" students to pay attention to their pronunciation and variance from a model. But, the extent to which variable attention alone contributes to the overall main effect is not pulled out in any study that I have been able to find.
Now I am not quite to Counselman's level of "forcing" attention, either by totally captivating instruction or capturing the attention and holding it hostage along the way, but Hobbis makes a very good point in the two blogposts that must go in both directions, if not simultaneously but at least systematically. In haptic pronunciation work--or most pronunciation teaching for that matter-- the extensive use of gesture alone should function at both levels. The same applies to any movement-enhanced methodology such as TPR (Total Physical Response) or mind-body interplay, as in Mindfulness training. The question, of course, is how mindful and intentional in methodology are we.
There has been a resurgence of attention to attention in the last decade in a number of sub-disciplines in neuroscience as well. Have you been paying attention--either to the research or in your classroom? If so, share that w/us, too! (The next blogpost will focus on the range of attention-driven, neuroscience-grounded best practice classroom techniques.) Join that conversation. You have our attention!