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Evidence in Favor of a Broad Framework for Pronunciation Instruction

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Abstract:

We had native English-speaking (NS) listeners evaluate the effects of 3types of instruction (segmental accuracy; general speaking habits and prosodic factors; and nospecific pronunciation instruction) on the speech of 3 groups of English as a second language(ESL) learners. We recorded their sentences and extemporaneously produced narratives at thebeginning and end of a 12-week course of instruction. In a blind rating task, 48 native Englishlisteners judged randomized sentences for accentedness and comprehensibility. Six experiencedESL teachers evaluated narratives for accent, comprehensibility, and fluency. Although bothgroups instructed in pronunciation showed significant improvement in comprehensibility andaccentedness on the sentences, only the global group showed improvement in comprehensibilityand fluency in the narratives. We argue that the focus of instruction and the attentional demandson speakers and listeners account for these findings.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0023-8333.00047

Affiliations: 1: University of Alberta, 2: Simon Fraser University

Publication date: September 1, 1998

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