|Photo credit: BYU.edu|
Murphy (2013;38) describes the typical use of "boxing-like" gestures in pronunciation teaching as follows: ". . . while using nonthreatening boxing moves, gently sparring with partners to coordinate simulated jabs with stressed syllables of prominent words."
On the face of it, the HRFC looks like that. In its early development, before 2013 it was in many respects. The current version is substantially different, however, for at least three reasons.
- First, the boxing gestures are intended primarily for personal use, not in sparring with a partner--although we still do that occasionally in demonstrations just for fun, as we will next week.
- Second, The HRFC gestural patterns are highly controlled, moving within narrow "channels" in the air in front of the learners, such that the energy of the "punches" is focused, never out of control.
- Third, something must be held in the hand that creates the tactile anchoring very distinctly, that can be squeezed on the stressed syllable word or words spoken during the boxing gesture. That can be a ball of some kind, a wadded up piece of paper, a glove, etc.
Controlled gestures, on the other hand, with discrete touch on the focal syllable do much to deal with such "distraction" and make the classroom and personal practice of gesture use more acceptable to a wider range of personality styles and preferences. That has certainly been our experience in the last 4 years.
If you are in town, join us Saturday, either in the workshop or at the TWU MATESOL table in the exhibition area.
Keep in touch!