Saturday, February 4, 2017

Killing Pronunciation 2: "Over and under-learning"

You may have seen a report on this research on "overlearning" recently, Overlearning hyperstabilizes a skill by rapidly making neurochemical processing inhibitory-dominant, by Shibata, Sasaki, Bang, Walsh, Machizawa, Tamaki, Chang and Watanabe of Brown University. (There is a pretty readable summary on Medicalexpress.com.) According to the abstract: "Overlearning in humans abruptly changes neurochemical processing, to hyperstabilize and protect trained perceptual learning from subsequent new learning."

Wow. Some useful terms there for you: Neurochemical processing . . . hyperstabilize  . . . inhibitory-dominant . . . 

Clker.com
Basically, researchers examined the effect of overlearning of a visual mapping procedure on retention in one of three conditions: (a) another new learning procedure was introduced immediately, (b) a time period was inserted (3 hours) before the next procedure, or (c) the first procedure was carried out with overlearning (operationalized as going over the correct set of moves yet again, again), followed by a second new procedure.

In essence, both (b) and (c) resulted in better recall later. In other words, you can protect new learning by putting some space between that and the next piece of training--especially if the two procedures have some potential overlap of some kind, or . . . by hammering it in, so to speak.

Shibata et al. suggest that the findings probably apply to a wide range of learning contexts, while conceding that the focus on visual modality also limits applicability. More research needed, of course. But what might that imply for pronunciation teaching? A few things:
  • Some kinds of drill may work as well as we know they do. (Especially if it is anchored with gesture-plus-touch!)
  • Research has long established that just "pointing out" or simple recasting (repeating back the correct pronunciation without further comment) rarely are effective. 
  • As was reported in the previous blogpost, the role of visual stimuli and distraction in moderating integration of other modalities, can be problematic, at best. That is to say the applicability of this "visual" study to embodied pronunciation may be marginal. 
  • The concept of "spacing" various procedures in pronunciation training does make. The behaviorists had that one figured out 60 or 70 years ago. (In fact, this possible additional empirical validation of overlearning must put a bit of a smile on the face of any "hyper-senior" researchers of the period still with us.)
  • Good trainers in virtually all physical disciplines know and practice this idea. Again, as developed in several previous blogposts, the idea of partitioning off leaning has always been central to hypnosis, allowing the unconscious mind a role in the party. How you do that can vary enormously, simple waiting time being one. 
Two possible takeaways here: (a) However you accomplish it, pronunciation learning, being the highly modality-integrated process that it is, requires or should be followed by uncompromised attention, processing space around it of some kind and "full-body" armor. (b) If not an integral part of your method, don't be surprised if little sticks or is "uptaken"!

If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings

Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp
*With apologies, of course, to Bill O'Reilly for the use of his "killing" meme, as in his recent books on well known figures of the past, e.g., Killing Jesus, Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy. At least a couple of future posts will use the same "killer" title hook.

Source:
Nature Neuroscience (2017)doi:10.1038/nn.4490






  • To cement quickly, overlearning should help, but beware it might interfere with similar learning it that follow immediately.
  • Without overlearning, don't try to learn something similar in rapid succession because there is a risk that the second bout of will undermine the first.
  • If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings.


  • Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp







  • To cement quickly, overlearning should help, but beware it might interfere with similar learning it that follow immediately.
  • Without overlearning, don't try to learn something similar in rapid succession because there is a risk that the second bout of will undermine the first.
  • If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings.


  • Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp







  • To cement quickly, overlearning should help, but beware it might interfere with similar learning it that follow immediately.
  • Without overlearning, don't try to learn something similar in rapid succession because there is a risk that the second bout of will undermine the first.
  • If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings.


  • Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp
    Overlearning hyper-stabilizes a skill by rapidly making neurochemical processing inhibitory-dominant, Nature Neuroscience, nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nn.4490

    Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp
    Overlearning hyper-stabilizes a skill by rapidly making neurochemical processing inhibitory-dominant, Nature Neuroscience, nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nn.4490

    Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp






  • To cement quickly, overlearning should help, but beware it might interfere with similar learning it that follow immediately.
  • Without overlearning, don't try to learn something similar in rapid succession because there is a risk that the second bout of will undermine the first.
  • If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings.


  • Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp







  • To cement quickly, overlearning should help, but beware it might interfere with similar learning it that follow immediately.
  • Without overlearning, don't try to learn something similar in rapid succession because there is a risk that the second bout of will undermine the first.
  • If you have enough time, you can learn two tasks without interference by leaving a few hours between the two trainings.


  • Read more at: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-01-overlearning.html#jCp

    1 comment:

    Selinda said...

    About the overlapping -- would that be similar to army training (doing something over and over again so that it becomes almost a reflex action)? If so, I could see how physical gestures/touch would work well to recall learned information.

    I've recently wondered about visualization -- the technique athletes use to envision success. Could this be applied to learners too? It may help learning and recall...

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