Improving L2 pronunciation inside and outside the classroom

Angélica Carlet, Hanna Kivistö-de Souza

Abstract


Spanish/Catalan learners of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) attended a formal instruction (FI) period combined with explicit pronunciation instruction, which consisted of theoretical and practical approaches to English segmental phonetics as well as a contrastive analysis between the participants’ first languages and the target language, English. The EFL learners’ ability to perceive and produce L2 vowels was assessed before and after the 8-week instructional treatment. Results show that the EFL learners significantly improved their perception of vowel sounds embedded in real and non-words. However, no improvement in production was found as a result of the instruction received. While these results suggest that learners’ perceptual skills can be improved with teacher-led instruction, the quantity and availability of explicit pronunciation instruction is not sufficient to modify learners’ speech production. Thus, optimal results require learners to continue learning outside the classroom context. With this aim, this paper presents two autonomous activities developed to increase learners’ awareness about phonology: L1-L2 Pronunciation Comparison Task and a Phonological Self-awareness Questionnaire.


Keywords


L2 pronunciation; Formal instruction; Autonomous learning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5007/2175-8026.2018v71n3p99

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