Putting the body back into foreign language learning through a Somatically-enhanced approach

Felicia Zhang

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookConference contributionpeer-review


This paper reports on the effectiveness of a language teaching approach called the Somatically-Enhanced Approach (SEA) (Author, 2006) in the teaching of the Thai language to a group of Vietnamese learners in Vietnam. Teaching innovations include: the use of relaxation techniques to relax students; the use of humming, clapping and physical gestures to emphasize the rhythm of the Thai language; the use of a Speech comparison tool (Sptool) for self-study; and the provision of all learning materials on CDs. An experimental study involving the teaching of Thai to Vietnamese students in Vietnam was carried out using SEA. The results of this study are encouraging. After twelve face-to-face contact hours, ten Vietnamese students who undertook a course in SEA spoke Thai, in the limited contexts covered in the course, as fluently as fourteen of their fellow students who had been studying Thai for more than one year using the traditional approach. In this paper, the results of the study, both quantitative and qualitative, will be reported. An evaluation of the Speech comparison tool will also be included.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationImaginative Practice, Imaginative Inquiry: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on imagination and Education
EditorsRobert Fiztgerald, Thomas W Nielsen
Place of PublicationCanberra, ACT
PublisherUniversity of Canberra
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781740772853
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventSixth International Conference on Imagination and Education - Canberra, Australia
Duration: 29 Jan 200831 Jan 2008


ConferenceSixth International Conference on Imagination and Education


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