Publication Details

Acton, W., Baker, A. Ann., Burri, M. & Teaman, B. (2013). Preliminaries to haptic-integrated pronunciation instruction. In J. Levis & K. LeVelle (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference (pp. 234-244). Ames, United States: Iowa State University.


This paper reports on aspects of a haptic (movement plus touch) integrated system for classroom pronunciation instruction. It is based, in part, on established pedagogical practice in the use of somatic/kinesthetic techniques such as gesture in language instruction (Acton, 1984, 2012; Celce-Murcia, Brinton, Goodwin & Briner, 2010; McCafferty, 2004), and management of vocal resonance in singing and voice training (Lessac, 1997). The pedagogical method is designed for use by relatively untrained instructors and is generally best delivered through video with classroom follow up. Relatively recent research and development in haptics, especially in the areas of gaming, prosthetics and robotics, provides a rich source of potential principles and procedures from which to draw in exploring and rethinking the "clinical side" of pronunciation work. The use of haptic integration procedures in various teaching systems, in the form of designated movement patterns accompanied by various "textures of touch" has been shown to more systematically coordinate sensory modalities involved and greatly enhance both effectiveness and pace of instruction. In field testing the basic English pronunciation system to be described, this application of haptic procedures shows promise of also enhancing efficiency in anchoring sounds, words and phrases and in facilitating both recall and integration of targeted material in spontaneous speech.