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English Pronunciation Teaching: Theory, Practice and Research Findings
 9781800410503

Table of contents :
Contents
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Phonetic Symbols
Contributors
Preface
Part 1 Introduction
1 Introduction
2 Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching
Part 2 Theoretical Perspectives
3 The Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning: What Teachers Need to Know
4 The Limitations of Imitation: Instilling Metalinguistic Awareness of the Discourse and Pragmatic Functions of English Intonation
5 The Mediating Role of Individual Differences in Pronunciation Instruction: Extending the Research Agenda
6 English Pronunciation in a Context Between ESL and EFL: The Swedish Case
Part 3 Practical Perspectives and Research Findings
7 Improving the Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules
8 Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies
9 Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production with Perception
10 Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training
11 Pronunciation and Intelligibility in English-Medium Instruction (EMI): Lecturers’ Views and Skills
12 Exploring How Teachers’ Pronunciation Beliefs Affect Their Classroom Practices
13 L2 Pronunciation Feedback: Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices
Part 4 Teacher Preparation
14 Lessons Learned From Teaching Teachers to Teach Pronunciation
15 Pronunciation Tutoring as Teacher Preparation
16 Teaching Pronunciation to International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) and Graduate Students
17 Teaching Pronunciation to Older Adult EFL Learners
Part 5 Conclusion
18 Pronunciation Teaching: Lessons Learned and Future Directions
Index

Citation preview

English Pronunciation Teaching

SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION Series Editors: Professor David Singleton, University of Pannonia, Hungary and Fellow Emeritus, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland and Professor Simone E. Pfenninger, University of Zurich, Switzerland This series brings together titles dealing with a variety of aspects of language acquisition and processing in situations where a language or languages other than the native language is involved. Second language is thus interpreted in its broadest possible sense. The volumes included in the series all offer in their different ways, on the one hand, exposition and discussion of empirical findings and, on the other, some degree of theoretical reflection. In this latter connection, no particular theoretical stance is privileged in the series; nor is any relevant perspective – sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic, neurolinguistic, etc. – deemed out of place. The intended readership of the series includes final-year undergraduates working on second language acquisition projects, postgraduate students involved in second language acquisition research, and researchers, teachers and ­policymakers in general whose interests include a second language acquisition component. All books in this series are externally peer-reviewed. Full details of all the books in this series and of all our other publications can be found on http://www.multilingual-matters.com, or by writing to Multilingual Matters, St Nicholas House, 31–34 High Street, Bristol, BS1 2AW, UK.

SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION: 160

English Pronunciation Teaching Theory, Practice and Research Findings Edited by

Veronica G. Sardegna and Anna Jarosz

MULTILINGUAL MATTERS Bristol • Jackson

DOI https://doi.org/10.21832/SARDEG0497 Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. Names: Sardegna, Veronica G., editor. | Jarosz, Anna, editor. Title: English Pronunciation Teaching: Theory, Practice and Research Findings/ Edited by Veronica G. Sardegna and Anna Jarosz. Description: Bristol; Jackson: Multilingual Matters, [2023] | Series: Second Language Acquisition: 160 | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Summary: “This book presents and discusses theoretical and practical perspectives on English pronunciation theory, research and practice in order to establish evidence-based pronunciation teaching models, teaching and research priorities, and recommendations for best practices in teaching English pronunciation”—Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2022050346 (print) | LCCN 2022050347 (ebook) | ISBN 9781800410480 (paperback) | ISBN 9781800410497 (hardback) | ISBN 9781800410503 (pdf) | ISBN 9781800410510 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: English language—Pronunciation. | English language—Study and teaching. | LCGFT: Essays. Classification: LCC PE1137 .E5665 2023 (print) | LCC PE1137 (ebook) | DDC 428.1/3071—dc23/eng/20230127 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2022050346 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2022050347 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue entry for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN-13: 978-1-80041-049-7 (hbk) ISBN-13: 978-1-80041-048-0 (pbk) Multilingual Matters UK: St Nicholas House, 31–34 High Street, Bristol, BS1 2AW, UK. USA: Ingram, Jackson, TN, USA. Website: www.multilingual-matters.com Twitter: Multi_Ling_Mat Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/multilingualmatters Blog: www.channelviewpublications.wordpress.com Copyright © 2023 Veronica G. Sardegna, Anna Jarosz and the authors of individual chapters. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. The policy of Multilingual Matters/Channel View Publications is to use papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products, made from wood grown in sustainable forests. In the manufacturing process of our books, and to further support our policy, preference is given to printers that have FSC and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. The FSC and/or PEFC logos will appear on those books where full certification has been granted to the printer concerned. Typeset by SAN Publishing Services.

Contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms

vii

Phonetic Symbols

ix

Contributorsxi Prefacexv Part 1: Introduction 1 Introduction Veronica G. Sardegna and Anna Jarosz

3

2

8

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching Anna Jarosz Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

3 The Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning: What Teachers Need to Know Veronica G. Sardegna 4 The Limitations of Imitation: Instilling Metalinguistic Awareness of the Discourse and Pragmatic Functions of English Intonation Marnie Reed

21

34

5 The Mediating Role of Individual Differences in Pronunciation Instruction: Extending the Research Agenda Mirosław Pawlak

52

6 English Pronunciation in a Context Between ESL and EFL: The Swedish Case Mara Haslam

66

Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings 7 Improving the Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules Veronica G. Sardegna and Wayne B. Dickerson v

81

vi  English Pronunciation Teaching

8

Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies Magdalena Szyszka

9 Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production with Perception Alice Henderson and Arkadiusz Rojczyk 10 Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training Anastazija Kirkova-Naskova

98

115 134

11 Pronunciation and Intelligibility in English-Medium Instruction (EMI): Lecturers’ Views and Skills Esther Gómez-Lacabex and Francisco Gallardo-del-Puerto

151

12 Exploring How Teachers’ Pronunciation Beliefs Affect Their Classroom Practices Anna Jarosz

168

13 L2 Pronunciation Feedback: Pre-Service Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices Pekka Lintunen, Aleksi Mäkilähde and Pauliina Peltonen

185



Part 4: Teacher Preparation

14 Lessons Learned From Teaching Teachers to Teach Pronunciation205 Tracey M. Derwing 15 Pronunciation Tutoring as Teacher Preparation John M. Levis and Tim Kochem 16 Teaching Pronunciation to International Teaching Assistants (ITAs) and Graduate Students Rebecca Oreto 17 Teaching Pronunciation to Older Adult EFL Learners Małgorzata Baran-Łucarz

221

237 251

Part 5: Conclusion

18 Pronunciation Teaching: Lessons Learned and Future Directions271 Veronica G. Sardegna and Anna Jarosz Index

282

Abbreviations and Acronyms

ACTFL American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages AmE American English AS Articulatory setting ATI Aptitude-treatment interaction BA Bachelor of Arts BFr Best French BrE British English CAH Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis CDST Complex Dynamic Systems Theory CEFR Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CF Corrective feedback CFLG Critical Foreign Language Geragogy CG Control group CLIL Content and Language Integrated Learning CLT Communicative Language Teaching CRM Covert Rehearsal Model EF Education First EFL English as a Foreign Language EIL English as an International Language ELF English as a Lingua Franca EMI English-Medium Instruction ESL English as a Second Language ESP English for Specific Purposes FFI Form-focused instruction FL Foreign language GA General American H# Hypothesis # HI High intelligibility HVPT High-variability phonetic training ICC Interclass correlation coefficient ID Individual differences IELTS International English Language Testing System IG Intervention group IMI Imitation IPA International Phonetic Alphabet vii

viii  English Pronunciation Teaching

ITA Key KSR L1 L2 Left LFC LI LSR MA MINECO MRI NF NNS NS PI PLS PSR PSTM RP RQ S# SEM SL SLA SLTC SLTE STEM SWBAT T# TA TESL TESOL TL TOEFL U3A VSR WM WTC

International Teaching Assistant Key syllable Key Stress Rule First language, native language Second language Left syllable Lingua Franca Core Low intelligibility Left Stress Rule Master of Arts Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness Magnetic resonance imaging Native French Nonnative speaker Native speaker Pronunciation instruction Pronunciation learning strategies Prefix Stress Rule Phonological short-term memory Received pronunciation Research question Student # Structural equation modeling Second language Second Language Acquisition Second Language Teaching Cognitions Second Language Teacher Education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Students Will Be Able To Teacher #; time # Teaching assistant Teaching English as a Second Language Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Target language Test of English as a Foreign Language Third Age Universities V/VC stress rule Working memory Willingness to communicate

Phonetic Symbols

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents nearly any vowel and consonant sound made by humans. Figure 0.1 displays the IPA Consonant Chart and Figure 0.2 displays the IPA Vowel Chart. These charts identify the place and manner of articulation for each sound, voic­ ing characteristics for consonants and vowel (un)roundness. For symbols representing diacritics, such as aspiration and devoicing, and supraseg­ mental features, such as primary and secondary stress, see https://www. internationalphoneticassociation.org/content/ipa-chart.

Figure 0.1  IPA Consonant Chart, http://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/ content/ipa-chart, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. Copyright © 2015 International Phonetic Association

ix

x  English Pronunciation Teaching

Figure 0.2  IPA Vowel Chart, http://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/ content/ipa-chart, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License. Copyright c 2015 International Phonetic Association

English Club features an interactive phonemic chart that learners can use to listen to and identify sound-spelling correspondences for the  44 sounds used in British English speech (https://www.englishclub.com/pro­ nunciation/phonemic-chart-ia.htm). Another useful, interactive and self-­ paced online tool for improving the ability to recognize English vowel and consonant sounds is The English Accent Coach (https://www.englishac centcoach.com).

Contributors

Małgorzata Baran-Łucarz is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław (Institute of English Studies, Second Language Learning and Teaching Section) in Poland. Among her research interests are phonetics, pronunciation pedagogy and second language acquisition with a focus on individual differences (e.g. aptitude, anxiety, motivation and willingness to communicate) in relation to foreign language pronunciation learning and teaching. Tracey M. Derwing is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alberta, Canada, and Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She has researched L2 pronunciation and fluency, especially the relationships among intelligibility, comprehensibility and accent. She has also investigated native speakers’ speech modifications for L2 speakers and has conducted workplace studies involving pragmatics and pronunciation. For several years, she taught a graduate course on Teaching Pronunciation to pre-service and in-service ESL teachers. Wayne B. Dickerson is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, where he taught courses in English phonology for MATESL candidates and ESL pronunciation. His research focuses on pedagogical applications of phonetics and phonology, pronunciation pedagogy, the value of orthography for learners, phonological variability and pronunciation assessment. Francisco Gallardo-del-Puerto is an Associate Professor at the University of Cantabria, Spain. His primary research interests focus on the acquisition of L2 English phonology, lexis and grammar. His research involves young and adult L2 learners in English as a Foreign Language (EFL), Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and English Medium Instruction (EMI) contexts. Esther Gómez-Lacabex is an Associate Professor at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. She conducts research on L2 speech perception and production training, and on the effects of pronunciation instruction in Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and English Medium instruction (EMI) contexts.

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Mara Haslam is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Language Education, Stockholm University, Sweden. Her research interests include identifying which aspects of pronunciation are important for intelligibility in both Swedish and English as a Lingua Franca. Dr Haslam received a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Utah, USA, in 2011. Alice Henderson is an Associate Professor at Université Grenoble - Alpes, France, where she teaches English for Specific Purposes and is a member of the LIDILEM research group. Her main research interests are English pronunciation learning and teaching, the perception of foreign-accented speech and English Medium Instruction. She has been involved in teacher training in France, Norway, Poland and Spain. Anna Jarosz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Łódź in Poland. Her professional interests include pronunciation teaching and learning with a focus on individual learner differences, motivation and strategy use. Since 2019, she organizes the International Conference on Native and NonNative Accents (Accents). She is the author of English Pronunciation in L2 Instruction: The Case of Secondary School Learners (2019, Springer) and co-editor, with Veronica Sardegna, of Theoretical and Practical Developments in English Speech Assessment, Research, and Training: Studies in Honour of Ewa Waniek-Klimczak (2022, Springer). Anastazija Kirkova-Naskova is an Associate Professor in English phonetics and morphology at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, North Macedonia. She also teaches research methodology (MA level). Her research interests include speech perception, foreign-accented speech and pronunciation teaching/learning. She co-edited English Pronunciation Instruction: Research-based Insights (2021, John Benjamins). She was an assistant editor-in-chief for The Journal of Contemporary Philology. Tim Kochem is a PhD student in Applied Linguistics and Technology at Iowa State University, USA. He currently works as an English language consultant at the Graduate College and as a research assistant for a longitudinal study exploring the development of pronunciation in international graduate students. His research areas include L2 teacher training, oral communication, distance education and educational technology. John M. Levis is Angela B. Pavitt Professor of English at Iowa State University, USA. He is the founder of the Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference and the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. He is also the author of several books, including Intelligibility, Oral Communication, and the Teaching of Pronunciation (2018, Cambridge University Press). Pekka Lintunen (PhD) is a Professor of English at the University of Turku, Finland, where he leads the Second Language Acquisition track.

Contributors xiii

Lintunen’s main research field is the development of L2 pronunciation. Recently, his research has also focused on the fluency and complexity of learner language, learner perceptions and beliefs, and informal language learning. Aleksi Mäkilähde (PhD) is an affiliated researcher at the School of Languages and Translation Studies, University of Turku, Finland. His recent research has focused mainly on multilingualism, in particular codeswitching. He is also interested in various aspects of pronunciation teaching and learning, especially learner beliefs. Rebecca Oreto has taught English as a Second Language for 27 years, including 19 years of teaching international teaching assistants and graduate students at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. She is the founder and conference chair for the International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Professionals Symposium and publishes and presents on ITA issues frequently. Mirosław Pawlak is a Professor of English at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland, and the Faculty of Pedagogy and Fine Arts in Kalisz, Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz, Poland. His research interests include form-focused instruction, corrective feedback, classroom discourse, learner autonomy, learning strategies, motivation, willingness to communicate, pronunciation teaching and study abroad. Pauliina Peltonen (PhD) is a university lecturer in the English Department at the University of Turku, Finland. Peltonen recently completed her doctoral dissertation on the interplay between L2 speech fluency and problem-solving mechanisms. She has also co-edited publications for the Finnish Association for Applied Linguistics and collaborated on papers focusing on intonation and fluency and pronunciation feedback. Marnie Reed is a Professor of Education and affiliated faculty in the Program in Linguistics at Boston University, USA. She is also the Director of the graduate program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in the College of Education. She is co-editor, with John Levis, of The Handbook of English Pronunciation (2015, Wiley). Arkadiusz Rojczyk is a Professor at the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. His research concentrates on the production and perception of second language speech. He is the head of the Speech Processing Laboratory at the University of Silesia in Katowice. He has published in international journals on phonetics, acoustics and second-language speech acquisition. Veronica G. Sardegna (PhD) has taught ESL and teacher education courses since 2003 at different American universities (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of

xiv  English Pronunciation Teaching

Pittsburgh and Duquesne University). She has published extensively on topics related to English pronunciation teaching, intercultural learning and instructional technology and is co-editor, with Anna Jarosz, of Theoretical and Practical Developments in English Speech Assessment, Research, and Training: Studies in Honour of Ewa Waniek-Klimczak (2022, Springer). She received the 2021 D. Scott Enright Interest Section Service Award for her outstanding service to TESOL. Magdalena Szyszka is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Opole, Poland. She teaches, among others, phonetics and teacher training courses. Her research interests comprise pronunciation learning strategies, language anxiety and pronunciation teaching. Among other publications, she published a monograph on Pronunciation Learning Strategies and Language Anxiety: In Search of an ­Interplay (2017, Springer).

Preface

Every year in December, the International Conference on Native and Non-Native Accents of English, also known as Accents, brings together prominent scholars from all over the world to the University of Łódź in Poland. Organized by the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics at the University of Łódź, this three-day conference engages researchers, scientists and educators devoted to native and non-native accents of English in scientific and academic exchanges and discussions. These scholars approach the study of English pronunciation from a vari­ ety of theoretical and practical perspectives. Key issues discussed each year include individual accent characteristics, the dynamism of accent usage, accent in teaching and learning, the methods and tools for accent studies and pronunciation instruction – a growing strand of research and focus at the conference. The friendly and inspiring atmosphere of the con­ ference itself and of Polish winter has greatly contributed to its growth over the years. However, had it not been for Prof. Ewa Waniek-Klimczak, the former Head of the Institute of English Studies at the University of Łódź as well as the founder and organizer of Accents (2007–2018), Accents would not be the powerful scholarly force it is today. This edited volume is in honour of Prof. Ewa Waniek-Klimczak, whose lifetime work and passion for Accents have always been an inspiration for those who dedicate their lives to teaching and studying different aspects of English pronunciation learning. Since its inception and with the guidance of Prof. Ewa Waniek-Klimczak, Accents has become a truly international conference. It has attracted ple­ nary speeches by the most distinguished and renowned researchers, including Una Cunningham, Tracey Derwing, Katarzyna DziubalskaKołaczyk,  James Emil Flege, Magnus Huber, John Levis, Joan Carles Mora, Murray Munro, Mirosław Pawlak, Marnie Reed, Veronica Sardegna, Włodzimierz Sobkowiak, Ron Thomson, Pavel Trofimovich, Jan Volín and Magdalena Wrembel, to name but a few. In addition, many other experts on English phonology and phonetics present their papers at the conference every year. We decided that for this volume we would focus on pronunciation teaching methodologies and research because this has been Prof. Ewa Waniek-Klimczak’s main research interest as well as our own. When the call for chapters for this volume went out to scholars who xv

xvi  English Pronunciation Teaching

frequently present their work at Accents, many responded positively to a book dedicated to Prof.  Ewa Waniek-Klimczak and to establishing evi­ dence-based pronunciation teaching models, teaching and research prior­ ities and recommendations for best practices in teaching and preparing teachers to teach English pronunciation. We had to be selective so that we could cover the depth and breadth of this topic as well as the spirit of the conference. It is with absolute pleasure that we bring to our readers our collective evidence-based knowledge of what constitutes good English pronunciation teaching. Veronica G. Sardegna Anna Jarosz

Part 1 Introduction

1 Introduction Veronica G. Sardegna and Anna Jarosz

Why Teach English Pronunciation?

Intelligible English pronunciation is unquestionably a key factor in successful oral communication as English is commonly employed as a lingua franca not only with native speakers but also among non-native speakers. Pronunciation errors may lead to misunderstandings and communication breakdowns resulting in serious consequences. The old myth that intelligible English pronunciation will be acquired as a by-product of learning/teaching the language and through exposure to authentic ­listening material has been dispelled by researchers and scientists. Explicit pronunciation teaching contributes to second language learners’ pronunciation awareness raising and, as such, provokes more conscious speech production and perception, which leads to pronunciation ­improvements. Hence, to improve English language learners’ ability to understand English spoken speech and be understood by others, it is recommended that teachers explicitly teach English pronunciation features and learning strategies. Several studies show that teachers understand the relevance of pronunciation instruction. However, they should be assisted in implementing their theoretically-based convictions in their classrooms. Learners need guidance in their pronunciation learning, and so do teachers in their teaching practice. This volume is intended to provide that much-needed guidance to teachers and teacher educators looking for best practices in teaching English pronunciation. Purpose, Aims and Focus of the Book

The main purpose of this edited collection is to present and discuss theoretical and practical perspectives on English pronunciation theory, research and practice in order to establish evidence-based pronunciation teaching models, teaching and research priorities, and recommendations for best practices in teaching and preparing teachers to teach English pronunciation. The chapters were written by renowned applied linguists and researchers from different parts of the world, including the US, Canada, France, Poland, Spain, North Macedonia, Sweden and Finland. Taken 3

4  Part 1: Introduction

t­ogether, the chapters provide a balanced view of theory and practice based on the authors’ empirical findings and their extensive professional experiences within English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) and lingua franca (ELF) contexts. The main aims of the book are to establish pronunciation ­teaching priorities that take into account individual learner variables, disseminate knowledge about theoretical frameworks, explore teachers’ and learners’ beliefs and practices regarding pronunciation instruction, and share empirical findings regarding teaching interventions in diverse contexts and with English learners of different ages and language backgrounds. The book also offers recommendations based on research for preparing teachers to teach English pronunciation. The concluding chapter summarizes lessons learned from the previous chapters and suggests future directions for pronunciation teaching interventions and classroom research. The focus of this edited collection is on theoretical frameworks and cutting-edge research answering critical theoretical, pedagogical and ­empirical questions related to English pronunciation teaching and learning and teacher training. Overall, the chapters highlight the need to f­ ocus on intelligibility models that take into account individual learner differences as well as teacher and contextual variables. Intended Readers

This edited collection will appeal to a large and mixed audience of applied linguists, researchers, teacher educators, teachers and students interested in pronunciation learning, teaching and research. Applied linguists and researchers around the world will find the chapters useful, motivating and thought-provoking not just because of the range and depth of the topics covered but also because the chapters offer strong research and pedagogical implications, showcase rigorous research methodologies and offer possible directions for future research. By addressing key topics in English phonetics and phonology through different perspectives and worldviews, the chapters invite fruitful academic discussions and encourage theoretically grounded studies. Undergraduate and graduate students in linguistics and applied linguistics programs will also value this edited collection as it exposes them to cutting-edge research and empirical findings that may motivate them to apply particular research paradigms in their investigations. The book could become a required textbook in linguistics and applied linguistics ­programs and in courses on second language acquisition, phonology, phonetics and pronunciation teaching because the chapters offer models that can assist students in developing their content knowledge of pronunciation-related issues, and their research skills and designs. Also, the book’s international focus is ideal for such courses as it raises awareness

Introduction 5

of how contextual factors and learning goals may affect pedagogical and research decisions. Finally, the collection will also be of interest to pre-service and inservice teachers of English. In addition to learning about effective pro­ nunciation teaching models, these teachers will gain insights into how they could integrate pronunciation teaching in their particular teaching contexts. Without a doubt, the contents of the practical chapters will ­benefit inexperienced teachers in immediate need of practical suggestions and models for their English language classrooms as well as ­seasoned teachers that are looking to enhance their current teaching practices with empirically validated pronunciation models and recommendations from experts. In fact, the book could be a required textbook and the chapters could become individual reading assignments in teacher education programs that focus on the teaching of English (e.g. TESOL programs). Teacher educators will find the chapters particularly useful in empowering and preparing student teachers to teach English pronunciation in a wide range of classrooms and contexts. In sum, the ultimate goal of this edited collection is to establish ­teaching priorities, areas in need of future research, and recommendations for best practices in both teaching and researching English pronunciation instruction models. Undoubtedly, this knowledge will benefit a wide a­udience of professionals interested in English pronunciation ­learning all over the world. Structure of the Book

The book is organized into five parts. In Part 1, we identify the main purpose, goals, focus, intended audience, structure and main contents of the book, and provide an introduction to key aspects of pronunciation learning and teaching, which will be discussed in more detail in the theoretical and practical chapters that follow. In Part 2, we look at theoretical approaches, pronunciation instruction models and factors affecting English pronunciation learning and teaching. The authors of these chapters propose pedagogical practices and research directions based on their extensive teaching and research experiences. Veronica Sardegna shares a pronunciation instruction model grounded on empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of pronunciation strategy instruction and the role of individual learner variables on learners’ selfregulated practice efforts. Marnie Reed reminds us of the need to teach English prosody to speakers of other languages and provides an evidencebased model for teaching it that advances from attention to alternating stress assignment of di-syllabic and multi-syllabic words and phrases, to sentence- and discourse-level considerations. Mirosław Pawlak highlights the important role of individual learner differences, which can be cognitive (e.g. age, aptitude, cognitive style), affective (e.g. anxiety, motivation),

6  Part 1: Introduction

or social (e.g. beliefs, attitudes), in pronunciation instruction, reviews empirical evidence in this area and suggests possible areas of future research that may overcome the methodological challenges found in prior research. With a focus on Sweden, where the status of English shares ­characteristics of both ESL and EFL contexts, Mara Haslam reflects on the effects of contextual variables on curricular expectations and teachers’ and students’ beliefs and attitudes regarding English teaching practices and goals in such teaching contexts. In Part 3, we share and discuss findings from studies that provide ­evidence-based practical perspectives on different aspects of pronunciation teaching and learning, including the actual and perceived efficacy of pronunciation instruction models and techniques, and learners’ practice choices. Veronica Sardegna and Wayne Dickerson examine the efficacy of a model that empowers learners with pronunciation rules for improving their ability to stress English polysyllabic words. Their investigation ­compares instructed learning outcomes to naturalistic development and stresses the important role of scaffolding learning through awareness ­raising, explicit teaching of pronunciation rules and learning strategies, and ongoing feedback. Magdalena Szyszka extends our understanding of pronunciation learning strategy research with her investigation of the type of pronunciation learning strategies deployed by learners when ­working on improving their pronunciation skills. This investigation uncovers the kinds of pronunciation learning strategies high- and lowintelligible learners use in preparation for and during a read-aloud task, and offers some pedagogical recommendations for teachers. Alice Henderson and Arkadiusz Rojczyk explore foreign-language accent ­imitation as a pronunciation teaching technique. They share a study in which they compare acoustic measurements and listener assessments to address five hypotheses. The results of this study provide valuable insights regarding learning hierarchies of pronunciation features. Anastazija Kirkova-Naskova explores learners’ views of the efficacy of an approach to L2 perception training that combined explicit phonetic instruction, perceptual activities (high variability stimuli), critical listening and ­communicative activities. The focus of the study was on English front vowels /iː, ɪ, e, æ/ and, thus, the chapter offers some valuable insights regarding the teaching of segmentals from the learners’ perspective. The chapter written by Esther Gómez-Lacabex and Francisco Gallardo-delPuerto shares the results of two studies: (a) an examination of the pronunciation beliefs and practices of English-Medium Instruction (EMI) teachers, and (b) a speech intelligibility analysis of an EMI teacher’s readaloud performance before, during and after the teacher participated in a brief pronunciation awareness session as part of a collaboration programme between language specialists and EMI lecturers in Spain. The chapter depicts EMI teachers’ willingness to improve their English

Introduction 7

intelligibility as well as their need for instructional support to do so. Anna Jarosz examines how teachers’ professional identity and cognition may affect pronunciation instruction and learning outcomes through an exploration of three teachers’ beliefs and perceptions regarding their pronunciation skills and pronunciation instruction in general, and their actual teaching practices. This study sheds light on important considerations for teacher education programs and also highlights the need for providing professional development courses/training for in-service teachers. Pekka Lintunen, Aleksi Mäkilähde and Pauliina Peltonen address L2 feedback and its role in facilitating learner awareness, self-evaluation and noticing skills. In particular, this chapter focuses on teachers’ beliefs and practices: how the teachers formulated corrective feedback, how their beliefs about feedback related to their feedback practices and how their practices differed in simulated vs. authentic learning situations and according to the role of the feedback provider. In Part 4, we focus on the preparation of teachers. Tracey Derwing provides a critical introspection on the pedagogical decisions she made as she developed a course to prepare student teachers to teach English ­pronunciation. She describes external barriers, course activities and materials, and students’ views on the course; and reflects on the lessons  she learned throughout the years as the course evolved. John Levis and Tim Kochem examine a model of pronunciation teaching, with a primary focus on individual tutoring, during a teacher preparation course. After describing the pedagogical framework and activities,  the chapter explores student teachers’ views of the tutoring approach and offers suggestions for a practical approach to pronunciation teacher preparation. Rebecca Oreto discusses the specialized pronunciation knowledge needed by international teaching assistants and graduate students, and by the instructors that teach them, and shares a range of exercises that she has found the most effective in supporting these learners’ efforts at improving their intelligibility. Małgorzata Baran-Łucarz recommends pronunciation activities that take into consideration the characteristic limitations and special educational needs of seniors (e.g. hearing loss, problems with perception, high anxiety, poorer articulation skills, ­reluctance towards new approaches, the expectation of fun and enjoyment during the course). The usefulness and value of this approach are further supported by an examination of senior learners’ and their EFL teachers’ views on the effectiveness and practicality of the approach. In Part 5, we conclude with an overview of the lessons learned from the theory, practice and research presented in the preceding chapters. Informed by these lessons, this final chapter establishes directions and research questions to guide future pedagogical models and investigations of English pronunciation teaching and classroom research.

2 Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching Anna Jarosz

Introduction

With the world becoming a global village, the need for international communication is growing and so is the desire for a language that could serve as a lingua franca. English has naturally taken this role. Teaching English is, therefore, a very common profession that cannot be done exclusively by English native speakers due to the excessive demand for teachers of English worldwide. Since the main and most pragmatic aim of English learning and teaching is communication, especially spoken communication, pronunciation acquires a crucial role in the process. Hence, pronunciation instruction research has become a field of academic interest, gaining more and more popularity. As Levis (2018) observes, there should be a bridge connecting pronunciation research and pronunciation teaching practice since academic evidence-based findings can contribute to enhancing the quality of pronunciation instruction in real classrooms. It, thus, seems essential that key concepts in the field of pronunciation teaching be presented. This chapter is an overview of the most relevant terminology in pronunciation learning and teaching. It starts with a brief description of phonetic features divided into segmentals (vowels and consonants) and suprasegmentals (prosodic aspects of speech), and then proceeds to explain accuracy and fluency. Next, it describes pronunciation teaching goals and considerations for pronunciation assessment. Since learners are the subject and the focus of the teaching process, the final section concentrates on individual learner variables: motivation, identity, attitudes towards the second language (L2), learning strategies and autonomy. Phonetic Features, Accuracy and Fluency

Learning English pronunciation involves learning to produce speech that is different in many aspects from the learner’s first language (L1). Those aspects comprise the articulatory setting, speech segments and 8

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching  9

speech prosody. First, learners need to adjust their way of using the articulatory apparatus, shaped by their L1, to new challenges posed by the new L2 (English) phonetic system. Teachers must raise learners’ awareness concerning the articulatory organs (e.g. tongue, lips, velum). Second, learners must become familiar with the English phonological inventory and acquire the production of segmentals (i.e. consonant and vowel sounds). Finally, learners need to master suprasegmental features, which comprise words, phrases, sentences and longer utterances, and include features such as word and sentence stress, rhythm, intonation, tone and juncture. The segmental level of language is often identified with linguistic accuracy, that is, the degree of precision in sound production. The suprasegmental level, on the other hand, refers to the acquisition of prosodic features that often extend over syllables, words or phrases and is, thus, more likely to contribute to overall fluency. As Waniek-Klimczak (2003) asserts, both accuracy and fluency build up a broader concept of linguistic proficiency, which denotes the organisation of speech on all levels, also speech tempo and time relations. Proficiency achievement is mainly assessed perceptually by listeners. Waniek-Klimczak (2003) proved the dominant role of fluency in the evaluation of speech proficiency. According to Segalowitz (2007), fluency is a stable construct independent of whether the speech is delivered in the L1 or L2. Slow L1 speakers will most probably be slow L2 speakers as well. Derwing and Munro (2015: 5) describe fluency/fluidity as ‘the degree to which speech flows easily without pauses and other dysfluency markers’. As they observe, the terms fluency and proficiency might sometimes be used interchangeably. However, it seems reasonable to distinguish between these two concepts in the manner proposed by Fillmore (1979) and to define proficiency as the highest possible level of fluency characterised by a creative command of the language and the use of metaphors, jokes, puns, diversified styles as well as accurate sound production. The phonological patterns of the L1 may, in some cases, facilitate or impede the process of learning the L2. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk (2013: 46) advises taking advantage of L1s since they may provide ‘real facilitators’. The Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis (CAH) (Lado, 1957) postulated that learning pronunciation features of the L2 is easier when the L2 and L1 are similar, which was later corroborated in a number of studies (Bongaerts et al., 2000; Broselow et al., 1987; Lee et al., 2006). Regarding individual sounds, however, the CAH was challenged by Flege et al. (1995: 264) who argued that ‘some studies provided evidence that L2 sounds not found in the L1 inventory may be produced more accurately than are L2 sounds with a counterpart in the L1 inventory’. They found evidence that it is easier to create a new category for a completely new sound in the mental sound inventory. However, when certain sounds in the L1 and L2 are perceptually similar, grasping the subtle differences might be a hard task, and so the L2 speaker might tend to fall back on the L1 category to represent the new L2 sound.

10  Part 1: Introduction

The Goals of Pronunciation Teaching Intelligibility vs. nativeness

The two main opposing goals of pronunciation teaching are nativeness and intelligibility. Nativeness dominated in the Audiolingual era when learners were expected to focus on form and imitate the L2 patterns as accurately as possible. When the focus of attention was shifted to successful spoken communication, being understood started to be perceived as the main goal of pronunciation teaching, especially in English as a Second Language (ESL) settings. As Levis (2005: 371) observed: Despite the current dominance of intelligibility as the goal of pronunciation teaching, both the nativeness and intelligibility principles continue to influence pronunciation in the language curriculum, both in how they relate to communicative context and in the relationship of pronunciation to identity.

Research on the beliefs of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers, however, indicates that accent reduction and nativeness are highly appre­ ciated as teaching pronunciation goals (see Chapter 12). Intelligibility, comprehensibility and accentedness

The late 1970s witnessed the growing dominance of the Communicative Approach (Communicative Language Teaching – CLT), which challenged the goals and the techniques of teaching English advocated by the previously prevailing methods (e.g. the Audiolingual Method, Community Language Learning, and Total Physical Response). The main assumption behind CLT is the communicative purpose of language learning/teaching. As Celce-Murcia et al. (2010: 8) conclude: Using language to communicate should be central in all classroom language instruction. This focus on language as communication brings ­renewed urgency to the teaching of pronunciation, since both empirical and anecdotal evidence indicates that there is a threshold level of pronunciation for non-native speakers of English; if they fall below this ­threshold level, they will have oral communication problems no matter how excel­ lent and extensive their control of English grammar and vocabulary might be.

This threshold level of pronunciation refers to the level of proficiency of the speaker. Oral communication problems resulting from speakers not reaching the threshold level have been documented in many resources (Derwing & Munro, 2015). Air traffic accidents are a very drastic e­ xample of the consequences of misunderstandings rooted in speech characteris­ tics. Derwing and Munro (2015) also mention other instances of the

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching  11

s­ ignificance of pronunciation and how non-native speech patterns might influence and  determine people’s everyday lives, job opportunities or ­social encounters. Understanding and comprehension, therefore, constitute the main factor in spoken communication. Thus, it is of paramount importance to discuss the concepts that refer directly to the phenomena, that is, intelligibility, comprehensibility and accentedness. Intelligibility, as a communicative goal, challenged the Audiolingual native-like learning goals. However, the construct was brought to the centre of attention much earlier. It is not known when intelligibility was first discussed in connection with language teaching. However, the term goes back at least as far as Henry Sweet’s (1900) book on practical language study. Sweet saw intelligibility as a guiding principle in the teaching of pronunciation, which, for him, was foundational in L2 learning. (Munro, 2011: 8)

A few years later, Abercrombie (1949) claimed that the majority of L2 learners need comfortable intelligibility in order to engage themselves in successful oral communication. Native-like speech is only required from secret agents and spies who are forced to conceal their true identities. Flege et al. (1995) put forward empirical evidence that native-like accent is a highly unattainable goal and that relatively few adult learners  are capable of acquiring native-like L2 pronunciation. To carry out ­intelligible communication, a particular set of speech characteristics is necessary, and others might be neglected as they do not hinder understanding. Gimson (1970) proposed some suggestions and strategies for learners to avoid and compensate for certain L2 sounds which generate production problems. Jenkins (2000) provided a set of pronunciation features to function as a teaching tool, which she called The Lingua Franca Core (LFC). LFC is supposed to equip teachers and learners with speech characteristics rele­ vant to international non-native communication. As Jenkins (2005: 200) explains, ‘the LFC, in a nutshell, is a proposal for a pronunciation syllabus for learners of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) – or English as an ­International Language (EIL) as it is sometimes called – rather than for English as a Foreign Language’. LFC raised a heated debate among scientists and researchers, especially in Europe, with objections related to the arbitrary choice of which phonetic features are relevant or the teachability criterion for future ELF teacher education. The concepts of intelligibility and comprehensibility were discussed and clarified by Derwing and Munro (2015). They observed that intelligibility denotes ‘the degree of match between a speaker’s intended message and the listener’s comprehension’ (2015: 5), whereas comprehensibility refers to how much effort the listener needs to put into understanding an utterance. Another construct frequently associated with intelligibility and

12  Part 1: Introduction

comprehensibility is accent, defined as a set of different salient speech patterns that distinguish one variety from another. Accentedness, therefore, describes the extent of L1 accent detected in L2 speech. There is a certain degree of correlation between the three constructs. However, both heavily-accented and difficult-to-understand speech (with comprehensibility issues) may be fully understood and intelligible. Munro and Derwing (1995) provided evidence that intelligibility and accentedness can be mutually independent, which constitutes a significant observation to be considered in language teaching, especially when intelligibility is perceived as its main goal. Moreover, they are not exclusively associated with the speaker and the production facet of communication. A number of other listener-related factors determine whether speech is intelligible and comprehensible, such as prejudice, the degree of familiarity with an L1 accent, or with the subject matter under discussion (Jarosz, 2019). As Zielinski (2008: 70) asserts, intelligibility must be perceived as ‘a two-way process involving both listener and speaker’. Apart from the speaker- and listener-related factors, Szpyra-Kozłowska (2015) distinguishes also context-related variables influencing intelligibility. The complexity and mutual interplay of the three groups of factors make the concept of intelligibility both intricate and fascinating to investigate. Yet, another more frequently evoked dimension of pronunciation is acceptability (Levis, 2006; Szpyra-Kozłowska, 2015; Thomson, 2018). Szpyra-Kozłowska defines speech acceptability in terms of how irritated the listener is while being exposed to an L2 utterance. Thomson (2018) calls for future research that would profoundly investigate the correlation between the acceptability of a foreign accent to a listener and the listener’s assessment of the accent, its intelligibility and comprehensibility. Pronunciation Assessment

According to Isaacs and Trofimovich (2017: 9), assessment is ‘the process of information gathering (e.g. about an L2 learner’s or test taker’s ability)’. As they observe, pronunciation assessment has until recently been largely absent from assessment of L2-speaking proficiency or inappropriately operationalised in the literature. It is, however, an important field that needs further investigation and guidelines. Corrective feedback

Feedback is an essential component of pronunciation learning and teaching, where the most attention is usually dedicated to the provision of the so-called corrective feedback, which occurs when a pronunciation error is produced (see Chapter 13). Doughty and Williams (1998) classified corrective feedback according to the degree of planning (reactive vs. proactive), explicitness (explicit vs. implicit) and integration with

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching  13

communicative activities (integrated vs. sequential). Reactive corrective feedback is provided as a result of a learner error and a learner need. Proactive corrective feedback is planned by the teacher beforehand in anticipation of possible learner needs. Explicit corrective feedback provides a metacognitive explanation aiming to raise the learner’s awareness, while implicit corrective feedback is hidden, not appealing to the learner’s awareness. Finally, corrective feedback can be integrated into the communicative activities or provided sequentially, that is, before or after the communicative activities. Individual Learner Variables

Learner-related factors affecting the learning process constitute a relevant field in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. It is important to examine those individual learner variables that can be, to some extent, affected and moderated by the learner or the teacher, such as motivation, identity, strategies and autonomy. Learner motivation

Motivation is a crucial affective factor in determining pronunciation learning and contributing to pronunciation improvement and greater intelligibility (Bernaus et al., 2004; Moyer, 1999). Motivation has a twofold nature: intrinsic and extrinsic. An intrinsically motivated learner exhibits a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards the L2 and wishes to integrate with the L2 community. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is allied to the need to communicate intelligibly to achieve success at work or school. As Pawlak (2010: 172) observes, motivation can be ‘enhanced by teachers who can use a gamut of motivational strategies as well as learners themselves who can resort to self-motivating strategies with a view to effectively self-regulating their study of pronunciation’. Motivation is not a static phenomenon (Dörnyei, 2005; Sardegna & Jarosz, 2022; Ushioda, 2003) as its intensity depends on a number of factors, such as the time of the day, the speaker’s mood and Willingness to Communicate (WTC), the type and complexity of the task, the communicative situation, the setting, the learning goals, the supports, the teacher and the learning context. The role of the teacher in building students’ motivation seems to constitute a vital component of the learning process (Sardegna & Jarosz, 2022). When the teacher provides ongoing guidance and support, and sets short-term attainable goals, motivation growth can be expected. The feeling of success propels the pursuit of new goals and causes new outbursts of motivation. According to Ushioda’s (2003) model, motivation must be conceived within the learner and be further developed through social interaction. Dörnyei (2005) operationalised motivation as a construct of multiple selves with a dynamically conceptualised identity adjusting to a particular

14  Part 1: Introduction

situation and moment. Ushioda (2009: 216) asserted that the realisation of the plural selves should be beneficial for learners in setting their priorities and for teachers in helping them recognise learners’ needs, address them adequately and focus on individual persons. Chapter 3 discusses the effect of motivation on students’ self-regulated practice, and Chapter 5 provides an overview of research findings related to motivation and WTC. Learner identity and attitudes towards the L2

Accent (and, thus, also pronunciation) is the most evident linguistic demonstration of the learner’s identity (Dalton-Puffer et al., 1997). L2 phonology represents the learner’s social needs as well as the beliefs and views on their social and national identity. ‘A speaker who chooses to discard a particular accent rather than acquire one may demonstrate an equally powerful identification with (or rejection of) a given social, national or ethnic community’ (Murphy, 2010: 190). A positive attitude towards the target language community and a desire to be accepted build integrative motivation and facilitate native-like accent acquisition (Kenworthy, 1987). Pawlak (2010) observed that a number of Polish immigrants in Britain and Ireland tend to preserve their Polish-accented speech to demonstrate their cultural identity and solidarity. As was indicated by Block (2007: 41), accent serves as a ‘linguistic means which can be drawn on to mediate self-expression’. Heavily-accented speech, however, may stigmatise its speakers and label them as a lower social class or an ethnic minority. Abundant research shows that listeners are guided by national stereotypes in judging accented speakers that they do not see just on the grounds of the foreign accent traces in their speech. Accent discrimination and negative attitudes towards L2 accented speech are common phenomena in real-life settings (Derwing & Munro, 2015). Learning strategies

Learning strategies have been defined as ‘specific actions, behaviors, steps or techniques that students (often intentionally) use to improve their progress in developing L2 skill’ (Oxford, 2002: 124). The taxonomy of language learning strategies proposed by O’Malley and Chamot (1990) comprises three groups: metacognitive, cognitive and socioaffective strategies. Metacognitive strategies are related to planning, goal-setting, selfmonitoring and self-assessment. Cognitive strategies (e.g. reading out loud, repetition or translation) are employed to select and control the learning material. Finally, socioaffective strategies are grounded in interaction with other L2 users, and thus, they include shaping different attitudes, controlling emotions or developing motivation. Dörnyei and Skehan (2003) and Dörnyei (2005) challenged the construct of learning strategies and proposed instead a much more dynamic concept of ‘self-regulation’.

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching  15

While much research has been conducted in the field of language learning strategies, scientists have only recently started to investigate and identify Pronunciation Learning Strategies (PLS). Several PLS taxonomies have been proposed (Eckstein, 2007; Pawlak, 2010; Peterson, 2000; Sardegna, 2009; Sardegna et al., 2018), which aim at analysing and classifying the PLS selected and employed by language students. Plonsky (2011) examined the effectiveness of pronunciation strategy instruction. Pawlak and Oxford (2018) called for more pronunciation strategy research that could be directly applied to classroom pedagogy and, thus, would impact its efficacy. Sardegna (2022) explained how PLS involving prediction, production and perception skills can be taught and used in the pronunciation classroom. She also shared evidence supporting the effectiveness of empowering students with PLS for self-regulated practice. Chapter 7 describes Sardegna’s (2022) model and presents research findings related to improving English word stress, and Chapter 8 discusses the interplay between L2 speech intelligibility and PLS. Learner autonomy

Effective classroom instruction should not be limited to explicit teaching (which is undoubtedly important). It also needs to rely on teachers’ actions that facilitate learning, foster learner autonomy and prepare the students for independent and responsible decisions outside the classroom. As Harmer (2001: 335) noticed: However good a teacher may be, students will never learn a language – or anything else – unless they aim to learn outside as well as during class time. This is because language is too complex and varied for there to be enough time for students to learn all they need to in a classroom.

Learner autonomy in language learning is manifested in initiatives ­taken by the learners themselves, such as goal identification, needs analysis, goal-setting, selection of activities, techniques, resources and strategies, self-evaluation, free choice of when to start and when to finish learning, and awareness that the decisions taken influence the learning process (Michońska-Stadnik, 1996). Encouraging learners to take responsibility for their learning equips them with skills and strategies useful in real-life situations outside the classroom when they have to rely on themselves (Pawlak, 2006). Needless to say, the degree of learner autonomy is ageand proficiency level-dependent (Jarosz, 2019). The older and the more proficient the students are, the more autonomous they become in their learning. Useful tips and suggestions for teachers to promote pronunciation learner autonomy were collected by Pawlak (2006), and they included introducing the phonetic alphabet, encouraging the use of dictionaries for pronunciation, raising pronunciation awareness, and advocating for

16  Part 1: Introduction

e­ xtensive listening and the use of computer software, internet resources, and learning strategies for learners to autonomously shape their approach to language learning. The role of the teacher as a facilitator and guide in learner pronunciation awareness building, strategy instruction and auton­ omy development cannot be overestimated. Recently, Sardegna (2022) proposed an evidence-based model that describes seven actions/steps ­teachers can take to support students’ autonomous pronunciation l­ earning (for more on this model, see Chapter 3). As Sardegna (2022) concludes, learners will be successful when they work hard and are empowered by the teachers who offer effective classroom instruction and supports for students’ self-practice. Conclusion

This chapter introduced key aspects of pronunciation learning and teaching, most of which will be referred to and analysed in more depth in the subsequent chapters. Understanding these key aspects is vital for a fruitful and inspiring debate on pronunciation instruction. References Abercrombie, D. (1949) Teaching pronunciation. English Language Teaching 3, 113–122. Bernaus, M., Masgoret, A., Gardner, R. and Reyes, E. (2004) Motivation and attitudes toward learning a language in multicultural classrooms. International Journal of Multilingualism 1, 75–89. Block, D. (2007) Second Language Identities. London: Continuum. Bongaerts, T., Mennen, S. and van der Slik, F. (2000) Authenticity of pronunciation in naturalistic second language acquisition: The case of very advanced learners of Dutch as a second language. Studia Linguistica 54, 298–308. Broselow, E., Hurtig, R.R. and Ringen, C. (1987) The perception of second language prosody. In G. Ioup and S.H. Weinberger (eds) Inter-Language Phonology: The Acquisition of the Second Language Sound System (pp. 350–361). Cambridge, MA: Newbury House. Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M., Goodwin, J.M. and Griner, B. (2010) Teaching Pronunciation: A Course Book and Reference Guide (2nd edn). New York: Cambridge University Press. Dalton-Puffer, C., Kaltenboeck, G. and Smit, U. (1997) Learner attitudes and L2 pronunciation in Austria. World Englishes 16, 115–127. Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (2015) Pronunciation Fundamentals: Evidence-based Perspectives for L2 Teaching and Research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Dörnyei, Z. (2005) The Psychology of the Language Learner: Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition. London: Lawrence Erlbaum. Dörnyei, Z. and Skehan, P. (2003) Individual differences in second language learning. In C.J. Doughty and M.H. Long (eds) The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 589–630). Oxford: Blackwell. Doughty, C.J. and Williams, J. (1998) Pedagogical choices in focus on form. In C.J. Doughty and J. Williams (eds) Focus on Form in Classroom Second Language Acquisition (pp. 197–261). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Key Aspects of Pronunciation Learning and Teaching  17

Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (2013) English or ELFish? A teaching dilemma of the 21st ­century. In J. Migdał and A. Piotrowska-Wojaczyk (eds) Cum reverentia, gratia, amicitia … Księga jubileuszowa dedykowana Profesorowi Bogdanowi Walczakowi Vol. I. (pp. 463–469). Poznań: Wydawnictwo Rys. Eckstein, G.T. (2007) A Correlation of Pronunciation Learning Strategies with Spontaneous English Pronunciation of Adult ESL Learners. Provo: Brigham Young University. Fillmore, C.J. (1979) On fluency. In C.J. Fillmore, D. Kempler and W.S.-Y. Wang (eds) Individual Differences in Language Ability and Language Behavior (pp. 173–183). New York: Academic Press. Flege, J.E., Munro, M.J. and MacKay, I.R.A. (1995) Production of the word-final English /t/ - /d/ contrast by native speakers of English, Mandarin, and Spanish. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 97 (5), 3125–3134. Gimson, A.C. (1970) An Introduction to the Pronunciation of English (2nd edn). London: Edward Arnold. Harmer, J. (2001) The Practice of English Language Teaching. London: Longman. Isaacs, T. and Trofimovich, P. (2017) Key themes, constructs and interdisciplinary perspectives in second language pronunciation assessment. In T. Isaacs and P. Trofimovich (eds) Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 3–11). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Jarosz, A. (2019) English Pronunciation in L2 Instruction. The Case of Secondary School Learners. Cham: Springer Nature. Jenkins, J. (2000) The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jenkins, J. (2005) Misinterpretation, bias and resistance to change: The case of the Lingua Franca Core. In K. Dziubalska-Kołaczyk and J. Przedlacka (eds) English Pronunciation Models: A Changing Scene (pp. 199–212). Bern: Peter Lang. Kenworthy, J. (1987) Teaching English Pronunciation. London: Longman. Lado, R. (1957) Linguistics Across Cultures. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Lee, B., Guion, S. and Haruda, T. (2006) Acoustic analysis of the production of unstressed English vowels by early and late Korean and Japanese bilinguals. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 28, 487–513. Levis, J.M. (2005) Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL Quarterly 39, 369–377. Levis, J.M. (2006) Pronunciation and the assessment of spoken language. In R. Hughes (ed.) Spoken English, TESOL and Applied Linguistics: Challenges for Theory and Practice (pp. 245–270). New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Levis, J.M. (2018) PSLLT: Bridging L2 pronunciation research and practice. In J. Levis (ed.) Proceedings of the 9th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference, University of Utah, September 1–2, 2017 (pp. i–xii). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Michońska-Stadnik, A. (1996) Strategie uczenia się i autonomia ucznia w warunkach szkolnych. Wrocław: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego. Moyer, A. (1999) Ultimate attainment in L2 phonology: The critical factors of age, motivation, and instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 21, 81–108. Munro, M.J. (2011) Intelligibility: Buzzword or buzzworthy? In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, Iowa, September 10–11, 2010 (pp. 7–16). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Munro, M.J. and Derwing, T.M. (1995) Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning 45 (1), 73–97. Murphy, D. (2010) Addressing individual learner needs in the pronunciation classroom. In E. Waniek-Klimczak (ed.) Issues in Accents of English 2: Variability and Norm (pp. 185–200). Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

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O’Malley, M. and Chamot, A. (1990) Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oxford, R. (2002) Language learning strategies in a nutshell: Update and ESL suggestions. In J.C Richards and W.A. Renandya (eds) Methodology in Language Teaching: An Anthology of Current Practice (pp. 124–132). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pawlak, M. (2006) The place of learner autonomy in pronunciation instruction. In E. Waniek-Klimczak and W. Sobkowiak (eds) Neofilologia, tom VIII. Dydaktyka fonetyki języka obcego. Zeszyty Naukowe Państwowej Wyższej Szkoły Zawodowej w Płocku (pp. 131–144). Płock: PWSZ. Pawlak, M. (2010) Teaching foreign language pronunciation: Issues in research focus and methodology. In E. Waniek-Klimczak (ed.) Issues in Accents of English 2: Variability and Norm (pp. 169–184). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Pawlak, M. and Oxford, R.L. (2018) Conclusion: The future of research into language learning strategies. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 525–535. Peterson, S. (2000) Pronunciation learning strategies: A first look. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 450599; FL 026618). Plonsky, L. (2011) The effectiveness of second language strategy instruction: A metaanalysis. Language Learning 61 (4), 993–1038. Sardegna, V.G. (2009) Improving English stress through pronunciation learning strategies. (Publication No. 3363085). PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. Sardegna, V.G. (2022) Evidence in favor of a strategy-based model for English pronunciation instruction. Language Teaching 55 (3), 363–378. Sardegna, V.G. and Jarosz, A. (2022) Exploring how YouGlish supports learning English word stress: A perception study. In V.G. Sardegna and A. Jarosz (eds) Theoretical and Practical Developments in English Speech Assessment, Research, and Training: Studies in Honour of Ewa Waniek-Klimczak (pp. 165–184). Cham: Springer Nature. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2018) Self-efficacy, attitudes, and choice of strategies for English pronunciation learning. Language Learning 68 (1), 83–114. Segalowitz, N. (2007) Access fluidity, attention control, and the acquisition of fluency in a second language. TESOL Quarterly 41 (1), 181–186. Szpyra-Kozłowska, J. (2015) Pronunciation in EFL Instruction: A Research-Based Approach. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Thomson, R.I. (2018) Measurement of accentedness, intelligibility and comprehensibility. In O. Kang and A. Ginther (eds) Assessment in Second Language Pronunciation (pp. 11–29) New York: Routledge. Ushioda, E. (2003) Motivation as a social meditated process. In D. Little, J. Ridley and E. Ushioda (eds) Learner Autonomy in the Foreign Language Classroom: Teacher, Learner, Curriculum and Assessment (pp. 90–102). Dublin: Authentic. Ushioda, E. (2009) A person-in-context relational view of emergent motivation, self and identity. In Z. Dörnyei and E. Ushioda (eds) Motivation, Language Identity and the L2 Self (pp. 215–228). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Waniek-Klimczak, E. (2003) Relacja pomiędzy poprawnością i biegłością wymowy w języku angielskim jako drugim. In E. Waniek-Klimczak and W. Sobkowiak (eds) Zeszyt Naukowy Instytutu Neofilologii (2) (pp. 33–45). Konin: Wydawnictwo Państwowej Wyższej Szkoły Zawodowej w Koninie. Zielinski, B. (2008) The listener: No longer the silent partner in reduced intelligibility. System 36 (1), 69–84.

Part 2 Theoretical Perspectives

3 The Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning: What Teachers Need to Know Veronica G. Sardegna

Introduction

With English achieving an increasingly global status, intelligibility of English speech is integral for English language learners’ successful comprehension and communication with native and non-native speakers of English. Hence, it is imperative that we continue to increase our knowledge of how we can help our students improve their comprehensibility (i.e. their ability to comprehend or understand spoken discourse) and intelligibility (i.e. the extent to which they are understood by others) (Derwing & Munro, 2015; Levis, 2018). As has been repeatedly argued, pronunciation improvement is gradual and depends upon the learner’s significant commitment of time and effort (Acton, 1984; Dickerson, 2004; Murphy, 1991; Sardegna, 2022). My research work has also shown that pronunciation improvement does not primarily occur in the classroom; it largely depends on students taking control of their learning by engaging in self-teaching and self-monitoring practice activities outside of class (Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2019, 2020, 2022). This view ­supports the development of learner-centered classrooms where teachers with specialized pedagogical and content knowledge build learners’ confidence and skills to learn autonomously. Such an environment helps learners become more self-aware and resourceful and take an active role in their learning. We also know that learners’ autonomous efforts are likely to be influenced by a myriad of individual differences (Sardegna, 2012; Sardegna et al., 2014, 2018; see Chapters 2 and 5) and instructional variables (McGregor & Sardegna, 2014; Sardegna & McGregor, 2022; see Chapter 7). Informed by emergent research in this area and my 21

22  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

explorations of the interplay among learner variables, instructional ­variables and pronunciation learning, I formulated an empirically based pronunciation instruction model that extends Dickerson’s (2013, 2015) Covert Rehearsal Model (CRM). I presented my model, which I call the Enhanced Covert Rehearsal Model (Enhanced-CRM), at a plenary speech at Accents 2019 (Sardegna, 2022). This chapter builds on my speech. The chapter starts with a brief overview of my research findings in connection with learner and instructional variables mediating pronunciation learning outcomes. Next, it describes CRM and ­ ­Enhanced-CRM and identifies the roles of the teacher and the learner under Enhanced-CRM. The chapter concludes with pedagogical recommendations for the teacher based on the empirical findings. The recommendations highlight the critical roles of the teacher in supporting students’ pronunciation learning efforts. Mediating Variables in English Pronunciation Learning

My cumulative body of work has uncovered several learner and instructional variables that are likely to mediate pronunciation learning. This section summarizes these findings and provides the foundation for understanding the enhancements proposed under Enhanced-CRM (Sardegna, 2022) to expand Dickerson’s (2013, 2015) CRM model. Learner variables

The learner has to recognize a need for pronunciation improvement. Learners’ personal and professional goals, personal beliefs, attitudes, pronunciation awareness and feelings about pronunciation learning often vary and may, to a certain extent, influence their perceptions of their own pronunciation needs (Sardegna et al., 2014, 2018; Sardegna & McGregor, 2013). Thus, it should not be assumed that all learners will recognize their pronunciation needs even if those needs are readily apparent to a listener. Most importantly, engagement with challenging pronunciation activities outside of class often requires the learner’s recognition of a need for pronunciation improvement as well as a curiosity and constant desire to improve (Sardegna, 2012, 2022; Sardegna & Jarosz, 2022; Sardegna et al., 2014). As uncovered by Sardegna and Jarosz (2022), without a sustained intrinsic motivation guiding their pronunciation practice efforts, learners are less likely to engage autonomously in the frequent and focused practice needed to effect changes in their pronunciation skills. Also, through factor analysis, Sardegna et al. (2014) revealed that integrative motivation was an underlying variable prompting English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students to improve their English pronunciation only in relation to making foreign friends and achieving native-like accent.

Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning  23

The learner needs to acquire both declarative and procedural knowledge to be able to improve target pronunciation features. Pronunciation learning does not consist of just learning about pronunciation features and learning strategies (declarative knowledge). It also involves the learner in an ongoing and dynamic process of exploration, discovery, application, reflection and skill development (procedural knowledge) (McGregor & Sardegna, 2014; Sardegna & McGregor, 2022). Thus, pronunciation practice should involve learners in analytical and metalanguage discussions about pronunciation features, skills, rules and strategies. These explorations and discussions of new ways of doing things, coupled with focused pronunciation practice, can help correct second language (L2) learners’ pronunciation inaccuracies. The learner needs to be willing to invest a significant amount of time and effort in self-regulated out-of-class focus-on-form practice. Progress in the area of pronunciation is gradual and does not happen primarily in class, although it starts there (Dickerson, 2004). Pronunciation learning takes a considerable amount of time and effort (Acton, 1984; Murphy, 1991) and, thus, it requires learners’ strong commitment to practice and focus on form outside of class (Sardegna, 2022). For their self-regulation to be successful, learners need to recognize self-responsibility, develop selfmonitoring skills, expand their repertoire of effective Pronunciation Learning Strategies (PLS), take control of the learning process and recognize self-accomplishment (Sardegna, 2008, 2019). My longitudinal studies have shown that highly motivated English as a Second Language (ESL) students – that is, those who have reported frequent practice with target pronunciation features after receiving pronunciation instruction – were able to maintain a significant change in their ability to stress words  and phrases and link sounds over time (Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2022). Learners’ efforts at pronunciation learning are enhanced when they self-select effective PLS. Students need to learn how, when and why to use PLS during pronunciation practice. PLS can help them figure out pronunciations, monitor the accuracy of their speech and listen for specific targets. There are a number of different PLS taxonomies. For instructional purposes, I proposed a taxonomy that groups PLS according to whether they help learners predict, produce or perceive a pronunciation target (Sardegna, 2009). Some examples are ‘apply spelling rules to figure out which vowel sound to produce’ (prediction PLS), ‘read a phrase aloud using backward build-ups’ (production PLS), and ‘listen to how stress is used to contrast information’ (perception PLS) (for more examples, see Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2022; Sardegna et al., 2018). I have consistently argued for the need to provide explicit instruction on PLS so that learners can self-select the PLS that work best for them (and stop using ineffective PLS) during their autonomous practice. ESL students that received pronunciation strategy instruction and reported using the learned PLS

24  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

frequently after instruction were able to maintain significant improvement with the target features long term (Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2019, 2022). It is also important to highlight that the type of PLS seems to matter as students that reported mostly using perception PLS tended to have larger decreases in accuracy over time than those that reported engaging in prediction and production PLS (Sardegna, 2012, 2019). Learners’ cognitive beliefs, affective attitudes and behaviors are closely linked. Through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), I found evidence supporting direct and indirect paths among three attitude variables (cognitive, affective and conative) and choice of PLS (Sardegna et al., 2018; see Figure 3.1). Cognitive attitude relates to cognitive beliefs and knowledge, affective attitude has to do with emotions, and conative attitude refers to the way attitudes influence actions or behaviors. This investigation involved 704 adolescent EFL students in South Korea and revealed that the more the students perceived the practical or linguistic benefits of improving their English pronunciation (cognitive beliefs), the more likely they were to be concerned about their pronunciation skills (i.e. have negative affect or emotions such as feeling anxious or nervous about making pronunciation mistakes). Also, the more worried they were about their English pronunciation skills (negative affect), the more likely they were to engage in conative behavior (i.e. take action to improve their pronunciation skills, such as finding time to practice). Finally, students’ behavioral intentions (conative attitude) seemed to promote choice of strategies for pronunciation learning (PLS) (moderate positive effect). These findings show that, although negative emotions can be d ­ ebilitating, experiencing some negative emotions can also be beneficial as they prompted the EFL students to choose PLS to develop their pronunciation skills (see Sardegna et al., 2018, for more on the model and confirmed paths). Learners’ self-efficacy beliefs regarding their pronunciation skills matter. As Figure 3.1 shows, learners’ self-efficacy beliefs are important

Figure 3.1  Confirmed theoretical model for EFL learners’ pronunciation attitudes, self-efficacy beliefs and strategies (PLS = Pronunciation Learning Strategies)

Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning  25

because they influence students’ attitudes toward pronunciation learning and their choice of PLS. Sardegna et al.’s (2018) SEM analysis revealed that EFL students with high self-efficacy regarding their pronunciation skills and ability to improve them were more likely to make an effort to engage in focus-on-form pronunciation practice (conative attitude) and to employ pronunciation-related strategies more actively (PLS). In addition, students that were satisfied and confident about their pronunciation skills (high self-efficacy) experienced less anxiety (negative affect). Furthermore, when boys and girls were compared, the results showed that pronunciation self-efficacy significantly influenced girls’ emotions (but not boys’ emotions). Girls with high pronunciation self-efficacy tended to be less worried about their pronunciation skills, and their anxieties regarding pronunciation practice did not affect their intended efforts (conative attitude) toward using PLS as much as it did with boys. In Sardegna (2012), I found that learners’ self-efficacy beliefs affected the choice, amount and frequency of their pronunciation strategy practice after receiving strategy instruction. When I examined the relationship between self-efficacy beliefs and pronunciation improvement, I discovered that the ESL learners that reported high confidence in their ability to use PLS for pronunciation improvement (confidence gained during a pronunciation course) not only were more likely to continue practicing using the same PLS after the course ended but also tended to maintain significant improvement over time (Sardegna, 2011, 2012, 2019). Another important consideration is that self-efficacy may be enhanced (Sardegna, 2022; Woodrow, 2006). Instructional variables

Pronunciation learning needs to be learner-centered and informed by research on intelligibility. A growing body of work has advocated for pronunciation teaching priorities and best practices based on comprehensibility and intelligibility goals and empirical evidence (Celce-Murcia et al., 2010; Derwing & Munro, 2015; Isaacs & Trofimovich, 2012, 2017; Isaacs et al., 2018; Jones, 2016; Levis, 2018; Levis et al., 2022; Murphy, 2017; Reed & Levis, 2015). It is now widely agreed that achieving intelligibility is the most important goal for L2 oral development (for an intelligibilitybased framework, see Levis, 2018). Pronunciation instruction must be informed by findings in this area so that learners’ practice efforts focus on aspects of their speech that make them unintelligible. Also, as I argue in Sardegna (2009), learners vary in their efforts, commitments and approaches to pronunciation learning; their speed of learning and their readiness to learn. To increase learner engagement and success at learning, pronunciation teaching goals should be learner-centered; that is, they should be tailored to learners’ individual needs and wants, and take into account their pronunciation strengths and weaknesses. Yet, most of the time students do not know what makes their pronunciation unintelligible

26  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

or what their pronunciation challenges are (Sardegna & McGregor, 2013). In Sardegna and McGregor (2017), we recommend raising students’ awareness of their pronunciation needs by conducting a holistic needs assessment activity. This activity requires learners to watch a videorecorded academic presentation, reflect on their performance, choose learning goals for the semester using guiding questions and then meet with the instructor to select their learning priorities based on their choices and the instructor’s assessment. This awareness-raising approach involves the learners both cognitively and affectively. The goal is to engage learners affectively to make them more cognitively receptive (McGregor & Sardegna, 2014). Effective pronunciation teaching requires content and pedagogical knowledge as well as supporting speech materials and resources. Reports of teachers not feeling confident to teach pronunciation unless they receive specialized training are abundant (see Chapter 15). A qualitative analysis of the factors that increased native and non-native pre-service teachers’ confidence, knowledge and agency to teach English pronunciation to ESL learners revealed three main contributing variables: expert knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and using online resources and speech models as teaching aids (Sardegna, 2020). The pre-service teachers reported (a) acquiring expert knowledge through explicit instruction from the course instructor, and (b) developing their pedagogical knowledge through tutoring experiences, observations of teaching, feedback on teaching and reflections on their own and others’ teaching. The findings also indicated that the student teachers appreciated the aid provided by the online resources and speech models for teaching and learning specific aspects of spoken oral English. Most importantly, the non-native preservice teachers in particular highlighted that these online resources ­legitimatized them as English pronunciation teachers because they validated their teaching. Learning should be carefully scaffolded through explicit instruction, goal prioritization and ongoing feedback. Research has shown the positive effects of explicit pronunciation instruction and scaffolding through feedback (Lee et  al., 2015; Saito, 2021; Sardegna & McGregor, 2022; Thomson & Derwing, 2015). Feedback guides practice, helps re-direct learning, builds knowledge and confidence, draws attention to features and effective strategies and helps revise misconceptions and re-evaluate beliefs. For it to be effective, it must be ongoing, frequent, supportive and purposeful (Sardegna, 2019, 2022). It is also important to prioritize goals for instruction so as not to overwhelm students (Sardegna, 2022; Sardegna & McGregor, 2017). As Dickerson (2015) states, the teacher needs to be strategic in selecting what to teach students. If learners are assigned too many targets to master, their attentional focus may suffer. Learning tasks should engage learners in focused watching, listening and oral practice followed by reflections on learning. In McGregor and

Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning  27

Sardegna (2014), the ESL learners that improved stress and linking targets reported that oral assignments that required them to rehearse and record, revise, and re-record before submitting the assignment for grading helped improve their pronunciation skills because they made them focus on form. They also highlighted activities that required reflection after watching their own and others’ presentations and/or listening to speech models. Specifically, they found these activities helpful in discovering pronunciation errors and raising their awareness of speech features. CRM and Enhanced-CRM

Covert rehearsal is the time when language learners focus on form, practice their pronunciation skills in private and engage in self-teaching (Dickerson, 2004). Dickerson (2013, 2015) proposed the ‘Covert Rehearsal Model’ (CRM), which consists of six guiding steps for learners as they practice in covert rehearsal (Figure 3.2; for empirical support, see Chapter 7). The model is grounded in self-regulation theory and entails a recursive learning process in which students use PLS (e.g. reading aloud, monitoring, repeating, etc.) simultaneously or in sequence to predict, produce and listen to one or more pronunciation learning targets as they practice autonomously what they learned in class.

Figure 3.2  The six steps of CRM

Based on my findings regarding mediating learner and instructional variables, I proposed Enhanced-CRM (Sardegna, 2022), which added refinements to Dickerson’s CRM. Enhanced-CRM underscores the integral role of the teacher in supporting learners’ practice choices and efforts through explicit teaching and purposeful scaffolding. In a nutshell, it adds to CRM a sequence of seven teacher actions (Figure 3.3) that support the sequence of learner steps. Figure 3.4 depicts the integration of learner steps and teacher actions in terms of learner and teacher roles. The learner’s role is placed at the center, thereby emphasizing the importance of learners’ self-regulated efforts. During self-regulated practice, learners must set their own goals, determine their learning pace, choose the PLS that work best for them, apply new knowledge to improve the speech features that they wish to

28  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

Figure 3.3  Teacher actions in support of students’ self-directed practice

Figure 3.4  The roles of the learner and the teacher in Enhanced-CRM

improve (focus on form + self-teaching), self-monitor their speech, selfassess their progress and reflect on the learning process (Sardegna, 2019). As previously argued, learners’ self-regulated efforts are likely to be influenced by a number of individual differences. To maximize learning opportunities, the teacher can engage in the aforementioned seven actions, which are subsumed into four teacher roles: (1) Promote learning (actions 1 and 2). (2) Empower students (action 3). (3) Create opportunities for learning (action 4). (4) Support the learning process (actions 5, 6 and 7). The Roles of the Teacher in Support of Learners’ Pronunciation Practice Efforts: Pedagogical Recommendations

This section takes into account the findings previously discussed in connection to mediating variables in pronunciation learning to offer

Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning  29

pedagogical recommendations for each of the four identified teacher roles: promote learning, empower students, create opportunities for learning and support the learning process. The focus is on linking ­empirical findings to best practices for teaching English pronunciation in ESL, EFL, English as an International Language (EIL) and lingua franca contexts. The teacher promotes learning

As already mentioned, some learners may not recognize their pronunciation needs or challenges, which may influence their practice choices and, ultimately, their learning outcomes. To promote effective practices (e.g. ensuring learners are putting time and effort into practicing appropriate pronunciation targets), the teacher can implement awareness-raising activities that can help students identify, select and prioritize their learning goals (actions 1 and 2) (see suggestions in Sardegna & McGregor, 2017). Yet, even after learners’ pronunciation awareness is raised and learning priorities are chosen, learners’ dispositions to focus on form and try different pronunciation learning tasks may be negatively influenced by their cognitive beliefs, motivations and attitudes toward pronunciation learning in general. Figure 3.5 offers further recommendations to promote learner engagement, autonomy and self-direction in pronunciation learning in light of the potential detrimental and facilitative effects of learner variables.

Figure 3.5  Suggestions for promoting pronunciation learning

The teacher empowers students

Another important aspect of pronunciation learning is empowerment as learners will need to engage in self-teaching during covert rehearsal. They need to learn pronunciation features, rules and PLS that will help

30  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

them self-monitor and self-correct their speech. Hence, the teacher must explicitly teach them these (action 3) (see examples in Sardegna et  al., 2016). There is abundant research evidence showing that explicit teaching of features, rules and PLS works: they are teachable and learnable (Chapter 7; Sardegna, 2022). Also, as already highlighted, learners need to develop their declarative and procedural knowledge to effect change in their pronunciation. Figure 3.6 offers some suggestions for doing so effectively.

Figure 3.6  Suggestions for empowering students

The teacher creates opportunities for learning

While CRM and Enhanced-CRM give autonomy to the learner on what to practice and how in periods of covert rehearsal, it is the teacher who provides the content and practical knowledge and develops the materials and activities that can guide student learning. In other words, the teacher purposefully creates opportunities for learning through assignments that students can complete in covert rehearsal (action 4). Figure 3.7 identifies effective ways of creating such opportunities in a safe space and

Figure 3.7  Suggestions for creating opportunities for learning

Effects of Learner and Instructional Variables on English Pronunciation Learning  31

beyond those already stipulated by CRM (e.g. find privacy, perform aloud, etc.). The teacher supports learning

Teacher scaffolding through guided practice, online resources and ongoing feedback (action 5) is a fundamental instructional component for  successful pronunciation learning (Sardegna 2022; Sardegna & McGregor, 2022). Also, frequent feedback on written and oral assignments, i­ nformation on what to do and how, and good speech models help build students’ confidence in their ability to improve (action 6), which fosters active engagement in the learning process and stronger commitments to improve. Students’ life-long learning is additionally supported through a re-assessment of goals and learning priorities after sustained practice and improvement during a course (action 7). Examples of these three teacher actions are shown in Figure 3.8.

Figure 3.8  Suggestions for supporting the learning process

Conclusion

This chapter offered a comprehensive discussion of research findings in connection to individual learner and instructional variables that are likely to influence learners’ pronunciation learning efforts and gains. Knowledge of these mediating variables enables teachers to make informed  instructional decisions geared toward maximizing learning opportunities and outcomes for their students. The chapter also provided theoretical support for Enhanced-CRM – an empirically-based pronunciation instruction model that has proven effective in maintaining significant pronunciation improvement over time (for empirical evidence, see Sardegna, 2022). The research reviewed in support of the model provided the basis for the pedagogical recommendations given at the end of the chapter. The focus of these recommendations was on enhancing learning

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via four teacher roles: promote learning, empower students, create opportunities for learning and support the learning process. References Acton, W. (1984) Changing fossilized pronunciation. TESOL Quarterly 18, 71–85. Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M., Goodwin, J.M. and Griner, B. (2010) Teaching Pronunciation: A Course Book and Reference Guide (2nd edn). New York: Cambridge University Press. Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (2015) Pronunciation Fundamentals: Evidence-Based Perspectives for L2 Teaching and Research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Dickerson, W.B. (2004) Stress in the Speech Stream: The Rhythm of Spoken English. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Dickerson, W.B. (2013) Prediction in teaching pronunciation. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (pp. 1–7). Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. See https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0950 Dickerson, W.B. (2015) Using orthography to teach pronunciation. In M. Reed and J. Levis (eds) The Handbook of English Pronunciation (pp. 488–504). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Isaacs, T. and Trofimovich, P. (2012) Deconstructing comprehensibility: Identifying the linguistic influences on listeners’ L2 comprehensibility ratings. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 34, 475–505. Isaacs, T. and Trofimovich, P. (2017) (eds) Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Isaacs, T., Trofimovich, P. and Foote, J.A. (2018) Developing a user-oriented second ­language comprehensibility scale for English-medium universities. Language Testing 35 (2), 161–192. Jones, T. (ed.) (2016) Pronunciation in the Classroom: The Overlooked Essential. Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press. Lee, J., Jang, J. and Plonsky, L. (2015) The effectiveness of second language pronunciation instruction: A meta-analysis. Applied Linguistics 36 (3), 345–366. Levis, J.M. (2018) Intelligibility: Oral Communication, and the Teaching of Pronunciation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levis, J.M., Derwing, T.M. and Sonsaat-Hegelheimer, S. (2022) (eds) Second Language Pronunciation: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Teaching. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. McGregor, A. and Sardegna, V.G. (2014, March 22–25) Pronunciation improvement through an awareness-raising approach [Conference presentation]. American Association for Applied Linguistics, Portland, OR, United States. Murphy, J. (1991) Oral communication in TESOL: Integrating speaking, listening and pronunciation. TESOL Quarterly 1, 51–75. Murphy, J.M. (2017) Teaching the Pronunciation of English: Focus on Whole Courses. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press Reed, M. and Levis, J. (2015) (eds) The Handbook of English Pronunciation. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Saito, K. (2021) Effects of corrective feedback on second language pronunciation development. In H. Nassaji and E. Kartchava (eds) The Cambridge Handbook of Corrective Feedback in Second Language Learning and Teaching (pp. 407–428). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Sardegna, V.G. (2008, April 2–5) Pronunciation learning strategies that work [Conference presentation]. 42nd Annual TESOL Convention and Exhibit, New York, NY, United States. Sardegna, V.G. (2009) Improving English stress through pronunciation learning strategies (Publication No. 3363085). PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. Sardegna, V.G. (2011) Pronunciation learning strategies that improve ESL learners’ linking. In. J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, Iowa, September 10-11, 2010 (pp. 105–121). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Sardegna, V.G. (2012) Learner differences in strategy use, self-efficacy beliefs, and pronunciation improvement. In. J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, IA, September 16–17, 2011 (pp. 39–53). Ames, IA: Iowa State University Sardegna, V.G. (2019, March 9–12) Investigating the relationship between pronunciation strategy training and long-term pronunciation improvement [Conference presentation]. American Association for Applied Linguistics, Atlanta, GA, United States. Sardegna, V.G. (2020) Pronunciation and good language teachers. In C. Griffiths and Z. Tajeddin (eds) Lessons From Good Language Teachers (pp. 232–245). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sardegna, V.G. (2022) Evidence in favor of a strategy-based model for English pronunciation instruction. Language Teaching 55 (3), 363–378. Sardegna, V.G., Chiang, F.-H. and Ghosh, M. (2016) Integrating pronunciation with presentation skills. In T. Jones (ed.) Pronunciation in the Classroom: The Overlooked Essential (pp. 43–56). Alexandria, VA: TESOL Press. Sardegna, V.G. and Jarosz, A. (2022) Exploring how YouGlish supports learning English word stress: A perception study. In V.G. Sardegna and A. Jarosz (eds) Theoretical and Practical Developments in English Speech Assessment, Research, and Training: Studies in Honour of Ewa Waniek-Klimczak (pp. 165–184). Cham: Springer Nature. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2014) Development and validation of the learner attitudes and motivations for pronunciation (LAMP) inventory. System 47, 162–175. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2018) Self-efficacy, attitudes, and choice of strategies for English pronunciation learning. Language Learning 68 (1), 83–114. Sardegna, V.G. and McGregor, A. (2013) Scaffolding students’ self-regulated efforts for effective pronunciation practice. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 4th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, August 24–25, 2012 (pp. 182–193). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Sardegna, V.G. and McGregor, A. (2017) Oral communication for international graduate students and teaching assistants. In J. Murphy (ed.) Teaching the Pronunciation of English: Focus on Whole Courses (pp. 130–154). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Sardegna, V.G. and McGregor, A. (2022) Classroom research for pronunciation. In J.M. Levis, T.M. Derwing and S. Sonsaat-Hegelheimer (eds) Second Language Pronunciation: Bridging the Gap Between Research and Teaching (pp. 107–128). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Thomson, R.I. and Derwing, T.M. (2015) The effectiveness of L2 pronunciation instruction: A narrative review. Applied Linguistics 36 (3), 326–344. Woodrow, L.J. (2006) A model of adaptive language learning. The Modern Language Journal 90, 297–319.

4 The Limitations of Imitation: Instilling Metalinguistic Awareness of the Discourse and Pragmatic Functions of English Intonation Marnie Reed

Introduction

Intonation, variably referred to as prosody or the melody of language, encodes meaning (Levis & Wichmann, 2015). Effectively exploiting the system of intonation can facilitate native–non-native speaker communication. However, studies of English L2 prosody acquisition reveal challenges, even at advanced levels of proficiency (Li & Post, 2014). Even learners whose native language resembles English in the use of prosody often fail to transfer their L1 prosody when speaking in English. A contributing factor to the failure to adopt English prosody may be lack of metalinguistic awareness, defined by Roberts (2011: 45) as ‘the ability to reflect on language as a symbolic system’. Additional factors include shortcomings in prosody instruction and the fact that ‘prosody is highly dependent on context and fulfills various functions (e.g. attitudinal, discoursal), some of which the learners might not be aware of’ (Puga et al., 2018: 685). As Gilbert (2014: 125) notes, imitation-focused prosody instruction can generate successful mimicry but without metalinguistic awareness of intonation’s discourse and pragmatic functions, with the result that learners may ‘think intonation is simply decorative’. This chapter approaches intonation teaching and learning within a framework centered on mutual intelligibility (Munro & Derwing, 1999), one aspect of which is understanding a speaker’s intended meaning. First, it defines and provides an overview of English intonation used to convey discourse and pragmatic meanings, and identifies the challenges of 34

The Limitations of Imitation  35

teaching it, the limitations of production-driven pedagogy and the benefits of strategy-based metacognitive instruction for teaching English intonation. Second, it proposes a model based on data from an eye-tracking study designed to investigate participants’ processing of contrastive information and production of intonation contours to signal contrastive meaning. The model is grounded in the triangulation of speech perception, production and metalinguistic awareness for advancing learners beyond mimicry in English prosody teaching and learning. Problem Statement and Background English intonation: Definitions and teaching challenges

Intonation is comprised of pitch (defined by Cruttenden, 1986, as the perceptual correlate of the fundamental frequency of the acoustic signal) and prominence, variously referred to as sentence stress, sentence focus or nuclear stress (Jenkins, 2002). Grant (2014) depicts suprasegmental features as stretching across individual segmental features (consonants and vowels). Two types of prosody have been postulated using a common set of acoustic cues: ‘linguistic prosody, which describes the stress, rhythm and intonation features of speech, and affective prosody, which is a description of the emotional aspects of speech’ (Belyk & Brown, 2013: 1395). This chapter avoids an instructional focus on sarcasm and various affective factors and is concerned instead with communicative functions. According to Jenkins (2002), attention to nuclear stress or focus is essential to avoiding communication breakdowns. Sentential focus also functions to mark information as given (old) or new, and to highlight intonational contrasts. As Halliday (1967: 169) explains, ‘We cannot fully describe the grammar of English without reference to the contrasts expounded by intonation’. With respect to teaching, intonation has been called a ‘problem child: from a pedagogical perspective’ (Wrembel, 2007: 189). Paunović and Savić (2008: 72–73) describe gaps in both learner and teacher metalinguistic awareness: Students often do not have a clear idea of why exactly ‘the melody of speech’ should be important for communication, and therefore seem to lack the motivation to master it while teachers do not seem to be ­theoretically or practically well-equipped to explain and illustrate its significance.

These claims are supported by Grant, a well-known author of researchinformed course materials, who writes, ‘Like their students, native speaking teachers are seldom aware of speech features like English rhythm and intonation and how they impact meaning unless those concepts are explicitly pointed out’ (Grant, 2014: 13–14). Clennell (1997)

36  Part 2: Theoretical Perspectives

lists three outcomes of intonational miscues between native and nonnative speakers: failure to grasp the propositional (informational) content of the utterance, misunderstanding the illocutionary force (or pragmatic meaning) of an utterance or poorly controlled ­conversational ­management. The varied functions and components of intonation have led to the recognition of its pedagogical importance but also an acknowledgment that its features ‘are particularly difficult to teach’ (Dalton & Seidlhofer, 1994: 73). Levis (2018) claims that defining intelligibility as ‘the extent to which a speaker’s message is actually understood by a listener’ (Munro & Derwing, 1999: 289) presumes two types of understanding: successfully identifying the words that are spoken to understand the message and understanding ‘the intent behind the message’ (Levis, 2018: 16). The first challenge, sentence parsing, requires knowledge of segmental phonology, including phonotactics (the permissible sound sequences in a language) and connected speech processes; lack of this skill may result in learner failure to grasp the locution, the utterance itself. To illustrate, consider the processing required to parse the following statement: My boss said he’d fixed all the problems.

In continuous or running speech, words are linked (said he’d; fixed all) and contracted (he’d), and sounds are deleted (/h/ in he’d). The past participle inflectional morpheme is assimilated [t] following the unvoiced ­final  sound of the verb [fɪks], resulting in a one-syllable word ([fɪkst]) whose syllable structure (CVCCC) may exceed the permissible number of coda consonants of many of the world’s languages. The second challenge, understanding a speaker’s communicative intent, requires s­ uprasegmental phonology, including intonation, to convey the pragmatic force of an ­utterance. A lack of prosodic skill may result in understanding the words but not the message. The beginning of the fall-rise pitch contour in the sentence below is represented orthographically by italics: My boss said he’d fixed all the problems.

This is no longer a case of reported speech; rather, the listener must infer what the speaker implies. In the words of Wells (2006: 27), ‘something is left unsaid – perhaps some kind of reservation or implication’. Intonation carries linguistic information and performs a variety of functions (Crystal, 1995), including conveying discourse intentions of the speaker and pragmatic meanings. Most pronunciation textbooks address syntactic functions (e.g. signaling grammatical structure) and discourse functions (e.g. turn-taking cues and differentiating question types), and overemphasize emotive functions (e.g. signaling attitude and affect); yet few adequately address pragmatic functions (e.g. given versus new

The Limitations of Imitation  37

information, contrast, implications). The pedagogical challenge is bidirectional: convert native speaker teachers’ unconscious, tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge of discourse and pragmatic conventions; and increase non-native teacher and learner metalinguistic awareness of the discourse and pragmatic functions of intonation to ensure the ability to understand what was said and what was meant by what was said, while maintaining interspeaker cooperation. As Wennerstrom (1994: 300) states, ‘Intonation is not just a nice flourish to enhance a non-native accent, but a complex system for the signaling of relationships in discourse’. It is concerned with discourse functions, that is, the informational and interactional uses of suprasegmental features, and pragmatic functions. To illustrate the latter, consider the exchange reported by Reed and Michaud (2015: 463) between a student requesting an assignment extension, ‘Can I give it to you Monday?’ and the teacher’s response, ‘You can’ (spoken with a fall-rise pitch contour), which elicited a grateful, ‘Okay, thanks!’ from the relieved student. Here, the student attended to the affirmative words, seemingly unaware that, as pointed out by Wichmann (2005: 229), intonation ‘has the power to reinforce, mitigate, or even undermine the words spoken’. Reed and Michaud (2015) provide further evidence for the primacy English language learners give to words over intonation. Study participants were high-intermediate and advanced-level students in two sections of a 12-week Listening and Speaking elective course in an academically oriented university-based intensive English program. Both sections (N = 14 in each section) were taught by seasoned English as a Second Language (ESL) instructors using the same research-informed textbook (Grant, 2010), which includes a balanced focus on segmentals and suprasegmentals. A pre-instruction diagnostic assessed students’ perceptual awareness of one of the variables of prosody, rhythmic differences among languages. Students heard short (50-second) speech samples of three top-of-the-hour news broadcasts from NPR, Le Monde or NHK representing a ‘stresstimed’ language (English), a ‘syllable-timed’ language (French) or a ‘moratimed’ language (Japanese), respectively. Each sound file had been low-pass filtered (48 Hz) to remove lexical information. All the students correctly identified the ‘sounds like English’ sample, citing its ‘sing-songy’ melody as the most identifiable feature. Their responses to two statements from a metalinguistic awareness survey showed that 19 students (68%) disagreed with ‘Intonation and stress can change the meaning of sentences’ and agreed with ‘If I can understand every word in a sentence, then I’ve understood the meaning of the sentence’. The students then received an orientation to an academic culture, which included reference to classes in which Teaching Assistants (TAs) are responsible, among other duties, for first-pass grading of student assignments. These college-bound students then listened to audio file labeled as a TA’s response to an inquiry from students about whether their midterms had yet been graded. The

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beginning of the fall-rise pitch contour in the TA’s response is represented orthographically by italics. The teacher didn’t grade your papers.

In response to the question prompt ‘Have the papers been graded?’ all ­students in one section and 70% in the other section responded in the ­negative. Repeated playing of the audio file at the students’ request served to reinforce confidence in their response. Some could be observed to mouth the words ‘didn’t grade’, while others explicitly pointed out, ‘It says “didn’t grade”’. No study participants appeared to discern the marked intonation on ‘teacher’ or to ascribe meaning to it. It is presumed that the implicational fall-rise pitch contour would alert native-speaker listeners to respond in the affirmative to the question prompt, inferring that the papers had indeed been graded, but by someone other than the t­eacher, most likely by the TA. The characterization of English intonation by study participants as ‘exaggerated’ or ‘sing-songy’ may provide insight into their insensitivity to the ‘extra sing-songy’ pitch contour used to signal the speaker’s intent. The limitations of production-driven pedagogy

Teachers face a conundrum. Scholars, such as McNerney and Mendelsohn (1992: 186), advocate a focus on suprasegmentals: ‘a shortterm pronunciation course should focus first and foremost on suprasegmentals, as they have the greatest impact on the comprehensibility of learners’ English’. However, a narrow focus on production in suprasegmental instruction may lead teachers to falsely assume that students have ‘learned’ intonation. In fact, students may be unwilling to use patterns, such as implicational or contrastive stress, in their speech. As Gilbert (2014: 125) points out, students may find intonation to be ‘simply decorative’, or they ‘may walk out of class without having accepted the system at all’. The dual risk that production-focused instruction poses is that learners who reject adopting English intonation may not only fail to signal prominence, contrast and other information when speaking but also may be unable to rely on intonation as listeners to recognize the information conveyed by the ‘exaggerated’ pitch contours. In Reed and Michaud (2015), the students received instruction in intonation and contrastive stress and practiced the intonation patterns through repetition. For example, in one of the language laboratory sessions devoted to intonation, they were asked to practice this sentence: ‘Some companies in the high-tech sector sell a wide variety of products’. After multiple rounds of ‘Repeat after me’ and choral repetition, students were approved for self-recording as their teacher assessed each one’s production as sufficiently native-like. After class that day, the researcher elicited student

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comments on their successful production and their views regarding the intonation patterns they had learned. Sample comments related to production include: ‘I feel silly’ and ‘I feel foolish’. Sample comments related to the intonation patterns include: (They) ‘sound ridiculous’, and ‘If this [intonation] was really important, someone would have told us by now’. A researcher-generated survey conducted the following week in the language lab asked students to listen to a recording (made by a native speaker) of the sentence the students had practiced and self-recorded the previous week, and to predict the topic of the following sentence from among three choices. The results were obtained using clickers – anonymous response systems. Initially, all students predicted that the topic of the sentence likely to follow the sentence, ‘Some companies in the high-tech sector sell a wide variety of products’ would be choice 1: the wide variety of products. No students chose 2: Other companies that don’t sell a wide variety of products. One student changed his mind and chose option 3: It is impossible to predict. Despite their previous successful mimicry of the target intonation contour, these students were insensitive to the intended meaning conveyed by what Wells (2006: 27) refers to as the implicational fall-rise pitch contour whereby ‘a speaker implies something without necessarily putting it into words’. Thus, this seemingly successful production-focused instruction, but without accompanying metalinguistic awareness-raising, masked the gap in these students’ knowledge. In semester-end post-instruction surveys, students maintained that the sole mechanism for conveying meaning is through the locution, the words of the utterance. They expressly rejected a role for intonation in overriding lexical information and expressed ambivalence in adopting intonation patterns in their own speech. The benefits of strategy-based metacognitive instruction

To counter the limitations of production-driven pedagogy, a study reported by Lacroix et al. (2016) explored the effects of metacognitive strategy instruction on increasing learner metalinguistic awareness of the pragmatic functions of intonation and ability to infer speaker intent on the basis of marked stress and intonation. The study was conducted in a combined intermediate and low-advanced level course (56-87/100 on the Michigan Test of Language Proficiency). It employed metacognitive diagnostics and assessments to frame instruction, and strategy instruction to monitor and regulate students’ progress. In the instruction phase, learners were introduced to a three-step strategy designed to facilitate processing message meaning: detect, locate and interpret the marked intonational signal. These steps, elaborated in the following sections, were practiced and recycled throughout the semester. To compare pre- and post-instruction performance on an information clarification task, the researchers computed a Fisher’s exact test due to the small sample size (N = 14) and found a significant difference (p < .001) in

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detecting contrastive stress to signal clarification of misinformation involving numbers. A seven-point true/false questionnaire assessing awareness of the functions of intonation revealed that a significantly higher number of participants responded accurately at the post-test. An additional measure included learner articulation of metalinguistic knowledge of the pragmatic functions of intonation, for example, to signal a stated or implied contrast or unstated implication. Sample postinstruction written reflections include: Pay attention to the stress of words, phrases, and sentences to be clear what we want to say. English normal intonation has dramatic pitch. Stress – changing the meaning of the sentence. Native Speakers care italics and they pronounce them up & down = pitch If I care my stress I say it louder, longer, higher clear. If I put the right stress on the right words, the listener more clear know my point.

The study findings suggest that strategy-based metacognitive instruction resulted in improved articulated metalinguistic awareness and listening skills as measured by accurate detection of contrastive stress and intonation to facilitate the interpretation of message meaning. Raising Metalinguistic Awareness of the Discourse and Pragmatic Functions of English Intonation: A Proposed Model

This section proposes a model for teaching English intonation. The model is centered on mutual intelligibility (Munro & Derwing, 1999) and is supported by findings from an eye-tracking study (Reed & Liu, 2020). The section starts by identifying the model’s theoretical framework based on findings from the study and then presents the pedagogical model. The model establishes learner outcomes for differentiating marked from neutral intonation on the basis of pitch change, isolating the locus of the marked intonation and interpreting speaker intent. It also proposes an instructional sequence with action steps and technical tools that can help increase metalinguistic awareness of English prosody and facilitate learners’ adjustment to its characteristics. Theoretical framework

A number of studies have investigated whether speakers of lexical tone languages transfer their language’s intonation patterns to English (Chen, 2007; Gussenhoven, 2004). Researchers investigating the production of English intonational contrast have documented that Mandarin, a tone language, resembles English in utilizing intonational focus to signal information structure (Ip & Cutler, 2017). Reed and Liu (2020) investigated

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factors that may account for the lack of transfer of intonational contrast, including processing differences and production difficulty. Specifically, the study addressed the use of acoustic features, such as pitch, duration and intensity, to convey contrastive information, the interaction of syntactic structure, information structure and pragmatic functions in producing prosodic phenomena, and learners’ visual processing of pictorial and written input. An eye-tracker (Eye-Link 1000) measuring gaze direction, saccade length and regression was used to investigate native and non-native speakers’ processing of passages containing contrastive information. Study participants silently read a transcript of the orally delivered sentences and passages containing contrastive information, signaled orthographically (e.g. italics, bold) or not; listened and matched contextualized sentences with intonationally-signaled contrastive information to corresponding meaning choices; and completed a post-test interview and metalinguistic survey. Participants’ speech was also recorded and analyzed for pitch level, duration and intensity using speech analysis software: PRAAT (Boersma & Weenink, 2018). Findings indicate that the L1 English speakers produced a statistically significantly broader pitch range and higher maximum pitch level (t = 5.09, p < .001) to encode contrastive stress than the L2 English speakers (t = 0.62, p = .54). Regarding perception, no significant differences were found in L1 and L2 processing of sentence-level texts. Regarding the processing of contrastive information in a contextualized passage, the L1 English speakers had a longer fixation percentage and dwell percentage compared to the L2 English speakers in the absence of orthographic symbols, suggesting that the L1 speakers were attending more to the contrastive information. When contrastive elements were signaled orthographically, the differential amount of time spent by the L2 English speakers shifting eye gaze between the stressed words and parenthesized meanings reached indicational but not statistical significance. In the picture narrative task, L1 speakers focused more on contrastive information and applied intonational cues in their oral narratives to signal the contrasts, whereas the L2 English speakers gazed at random non-contrastive elements and did not use intonational cues for the contrastive elements in their oral narratives. These differences reveal language-specific processing of written and pictorial information, especially in contexts with rich discourse information. The findings suggest that differences in L1 and L2 English speakers’ prosody stem from a deficiency in the spontaneous, automatic realization of multiple interrelated variables. Pedagogical framework: Triangulating perception, production and metalinguistic awareness

Crosslinguistic variation is recognized in the prosodic systems of languages. As noted by Himmelmann and Ladd (2008: 253), ‘Speakers of all

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languages produce and perceive differences in pitch, duration, voice quality, and probably relative prominence, but they may interpret these differences in radically different ways’. The fact that perception and production domains are inextricably linked (Liberman & Mattingly, 1985) offers the potential to raise metalinguistic awareness of how prosodic focus is conveyed and detected in English. It is suggested that the goal of activating auditory feedback by shaping speakers’ speech production at the segmental level (Casserly & Pisoni, 2010) can be extended and leveraged to address suprasegmental features and include the dimension of metalinguistic awareness of the pragmatic and discourse functions of intonation. The benefits of prosodic feature awareness training have been reported for speech production and perception (Derwing & Munro, 2005; Derwing et al., 2012; Sardegna, 2022). Learners’ resistance to adopting English prosody may be ameliorated by fostering metalinguistic awareness of the communicative functions of intonation along with the practice of requisite pitch changes. As proposed by Reed and Liu (2020), by triangulating perception, production and metalinguistic awareness, teachers can provide instruction that ‘teaches the student to think in terms of the speaker’s intention in any given situation’ (Allen, 1971: 73). Figure 4.1 depicts this framework. This pedagogical framework addresses the use of prosodic features to realize pragmatic functions as a multifaceted process related to speech

Figure 4.1  Triangulating perception, production and metalinguistic awareness

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perception, production and the processing of input. Technology-enhanced instruction, such as speech visualization, has the potential to facilitate learner awareness-raising, learning, and adoption in daily communication. Proposed instruction phase

The distinctive melody of English, which some learners have characterized as ‘up and down’, starts at the syllable level. English monosyllabic words are more complex in syllable structure than words in many of the world’s languages, allowing up to three consonant -C- sounds in the onset (beginning of the syllable) and up to four in the coda (end of the syllable) as illustrated in a word like ‘prompts’ /prampts/. Students whose L1 does not allow onset- or coda-clusters may unconsciously insert vowel sounds, aligning their L2 to conform to the L1 CV syllable structure, but inadvertently adding a syllable. Native speakers, who attend to syllable stress patterns, may incorrectly ascribe meaning to the extra syllable created by vowel insertion, as when the utterance ‘I have been’ – uttered as [hæ və bɪn] by an L2 learner – was orthographically transcribed as ‘I haven’t been’ by native listeners (Zielinski, 2008: 75). With respect to the use of intonation to convey contrastive meaning, awareness-raising and instruction can begin at the level of monosyllabic words with a pitch change on vowels in stressed words, for example, in lessons on antonyms: I didn’t order a small one, I ordered a ____ one; Don’t turn the volume up, turn it ___. Here, anticipate push-back and resistance to the requisite exaggerated pitch contours. Assuming that speech production facilitates speech perception in an auditory closed-circuit feedback loop (Reed & Michaud, 2011), teachers can take advantage of students’ ability to imitate for mocking purposes in order to facilitate noticing the pitch contours when heard outside of class. In a stress-timed language like English, the basic unit of rhythm is the syllable (Gilbert, 2008: 4). The role of the syllable as the relevant and meaningful unit of timing for English is most evident starting with disyllabic words, which alternate stressed and unstressed syllables. Word stress is important for spoken word recognition (Cutler et al., 1997). To illustrate, consider the challenge posed by incorrect stress assignment in this term, uttered in a linguistics conference colloquium on the topic of acquisition of the lexicon: [wa ka .byu la riz ]. As is often the case, more than one error may occur: in this case, a word-initial consonant substitution of /w/ for /v/ and pluralizing of a non-count noun. However, correction of these segments alone, without correction of lexical stress placement, would likely not have facilitated recognition of the target word, vocabulary. This failure, even in an optimal context for activating background knowledge, supports Derwing and Rossiter’s (2002: 163) claim, that ‘inappropriate stress assignment may result in an unintelligible production’.

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The phonetic realization of stressed syllables includes dynamic cues, melodic cues and vowel quality changes (Sluijter & Van Heuven, 1996). For L2 learners of English, lexical stress is reported to be difficult to acquire (Archibald, 1997). Cognitive attention to lexical stress varies. According to Peperkamp et al. (2010), learners from languages with fixed or predictable lexical stress do not encode stress in their L1 lexical representations nor, crucially, when learning an L2. Teachers can draw attention to two observations: (1) stress alternates in most disyllabic and polysyllabic words, exceptions being compounds (sidewalk, blackboard) and words with full vowels (e.g. halo, window, hotel); (2) lexical stress is not easily predictable (but see Chapter 7 for some suggestions for prediction rules). Two stress patterns for English disyllabic words are depicted in Figure 4.2.

Figure 4.2  Lexical stress in English disyllabic words

Perceptually, the characteristic feature of stressed syllables is prominence (Roach, 2009). Himmelmann and Ladd (2008: 248) suggest an alternative phonetic definition of stress as ‘force of articulation’. The recognizable features of prominence are depicted in Figure 4.3.

Figure 4.3  Features of stressed syllables

A relatively small subset of English words has the potential to simultaneously raise awareness of the need to attend to stress and the locus of that attention: greater temporal duration of the vowel in the stressed syllable, which allows for superimposition of a pitch change. A function of English lexical stress that learners may not realize is that for some words, lexical stress alternation changes the part of speech. As Cutler (1986: 204) noted, ‘stress oppositions between verb and noun forms of the same stem {decrease, conduct, import} are common’. Teachers can extend heightened awareness of stress to phrasal, sentential and discourse levels. The spectrograph in Figure 4.4 uses speech visualization software PRAAT (Boersma & Weenink, 2018) to depict intensity (in decibel units), duration (in seconds) and pitch movement (in Hertz) to illustrate trochaic versus iambic contours of the same word, ‘permit’:

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Figure 4.4  Spectrograph of noun versus verb stress opposition

Figure 4.5 illustrates an exercise adapted from Reed and Michaud (2005: 61) intended to raise metalinguistic awareness and promote articulation of the generalizable role lexical stress plays in determining lexical category in stress opposition words: trochaic stress for nouns; iambic stress for verbs.

Figure 4.5  Stress opposition exercise

Moving from disyllabic to longer multisyllabic words, it becomes clear that in variable-stress languages like English, the number of stress patterns is unwieldy. As a manageable alternative to providing ephemeral models, teachers can provide tools to promote learner responsibility and agency for stress placement. Once introduced, teachers can replace recasts with a numeric form of error correction. Reacting to ‘My major is eCONomics’ with ‘3rd in 4’ directs the learner to self-monitor and self-correct. Figure 4.6 uses a notation system adapted from Murphy and Kandil (2004) to represent three 3-syllable words with three different stress patterns.

Figure 4.6  Lexical stress pattern notation system

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At this point, ensure that your students know how their go-to dictionary indicates stress. Next, recommend that students maintain a Vocabulary Checklist in which they record the stress pattern for fieldspecific words used in their academic, workplace or social settings. When teaching derivational affixes, begin with predictable suffix stress patterns, as illustrated in Figure 4.7.

Figure 4.7  Suffix affixation with trochaic and iambic stems

When teaching derivational prefixes, use the notation system to indicate that the addition of the prefix will add to the syllable count but will not affect primary stress assignment. Examples: • 2/3: immoral; dishonest; illegal; disloyal (derived from 1/2 roots) • 3/3: immature; reinvent (derived from 2/2 roots) • 3/5: unreliable (derived from a 2/4 root) Then follow these steps: (1) Illustrate affixation in a sample word. e.g. reliable (2/4) + prefix ‘un’  unreliable (3/5) (2) Illustrate affixation in a sample sentence. e.g. My boss is unreliable. (3) Introduce contrastive stress. e.g. unreliable (3/5) + contrastive stress  unreliable (1/5) (4) Practice with a fall/rise pitch contour on ‘un’ e.g. My boss used to be reliable, but lately, she’s become unreliable. This is an optimal point in the instruction phase to highlight that oral stress is conventionally transcribed orthographically as italics in English. While not all contrasts will be represented by italics, the appearance of italics in print alerts readers to attend to meaning interpretation. Students whose languages do not use italics in print to signal intonational focus are not likely to orally signal stress represented by italicized words in classroom Read Aloud exercises. An effective awareness-raising activity is to assign as homework a short passage with italicized words that students are to ask native speakers to read aloud, and then report back what they noticed. As observed by a colleague who devised this exercise, the students somewhat grudgingly acknowledged that – just as the teacher had been trying to convey – the native speaker informants all did this ‘up and

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down’ thing when they encountered those italicized words. Introduce the term ‘in italics’ to facilitate metalinguistic articulation: The word xxx is in italics, so the author is signaling some special meaning. Extend lexical stress to phrasal stress with prepositional or fixedphrase patterns. Apply lexical stress analysis to phrasal stress as illustrated in Figure 4.8.

Figure 4.8  Lexical and phrasal stress patterns

The context of prepositional phrases can be used to raise awareness that even ‘function words’ can be stressed for contrastive purposes: Let’s meet before class, not after class. Word- and phrase-level stress can extend to post-lexical sentence-level stress, promoting awareness that stress in English can be used to differentiate one meaning from another. For example, the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test (https://posetest.com/) enables users to associate intonation with pragmatic functions and can be used to raise or assess metalinguistic awareness. Visualizing the pitch movement of the same sentences with different sentence focus can facilitate the ability to notice, isolate and interpret contrastive and implicational stress that signals speaker intent. Figure 4.9 captures differential intonation contours using speech analysis software, PRAAT. Notice the fall (of the fall-rise contour) when the speaker utters ‘teacher’ in 1, ‘your’ in 2, and ‘exams’ in 3. A pedagogical approach that combines speech visualization with metalinguistic awareness-raising and syllables-to-sentence-level practice of

Figure 4.9  Two-channel spectrographic visualization of differential sentence focus Note: 1. The TEACHER didn’t grade your exams; 2. The teacher didn’t grade YOUR exams; 3. The teacher didn’t grade your exams.

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intonation’s pragmatic and discourse functions holds the potential to demystify the complex and dynamic nature of English prosody. Student Learning Outcomes, operationalized as Students Will Be Able To (SWBAT), can advance learners’ ability to detect differential sentence focus, locate the source of marked (non-standard) intonation, and finally choose the likely intended interpretation from among a set of options. Figure 4.10 depicts the three-step processing strategy.

Figure 4.10  Metacognitive Strategy for processing speaker intent

Sentence pairs that are lexically and syntactically identical but differ in prosodic focus (Figure 4.9) can be used to either ascertain or increase metalinguistic awareness by means of a binary choice task. In Step 1, students are asked to listen to audio files of two sentences and determine if the sentences sound: The Same, or Different: (1) My brother is a doctor. (2) My brother is a doctor. In step 2, identification of the locus of the focus word can be used to either ascertain or increase metalinguistic awareness using co-constructed descriptors. Possible responses to audio files of sentences 1 and 2: (1) The word brother had extra pitch. (2) The word doctor was ‘sing songy’/ sounded exaggerated. Step 3 requires attention to prosodic focus to facilitate understanding speaker intent. To illustrate success with one of the possible interpretations, prediction of new information in discourse, students are asked to listen to an audio file and predict the next topic: We’ve been talking about my brother’s occupation; (1) now let’s talk about my brother’s hobbies. (2) now let’s talk about my sister’s occupation. Conclusion

Interpretation of speaker intent has been shown to improve L2 English by directing learners’ attention and raising their awareness of prosodic

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features during instruction (Pennington & Ellis, 2000). This chapter ­proposed a model for raising the metalinguistic awareness of L2 English learners of the phrase-, sentence- and discourse-level uses of intonation to convey distinctions related to information structure. The three-step processing strategy recommended here is intended to promote metalinguistic awareness of discourse and pragmatic functions of intonation that allow inferring what is meant by what is said. Acknowledgment

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Grant, L. (2010) Well Said: Pronunciation for Clear Communication. Boston: Heinle/ Cengage Learning. Grant, L. (ed.) (2014) Pronunciation Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. Gussenhoven, C. (2004) The Phonology of Tone and Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Halliday, M.A.K. (1967) The Intonation and Grammar of British English. The Hague: Mouton. Himmelmann, N.P. and Ladd, D.R. (2008) Prosodic description: An introduction to fieldworkers. Language Documentation & Conservation 2, 244–274. Ip, M.H.K. and Cutler, A. (2017) Intonation facilitates prediction of focus even in the presence of lexical tones. Proceedings of Interspeech 2017, August 20–24, 2017 (pp. 1218–1222). https://doi:10.21437/Interspeech.2017-264 Jenkins, J. (2002) The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lacroix, J., Reed, M. and Harbaugh, A. (2016) The effect of metacognitive strategy instruction on L2 learner beliefs and listening skills. In J. Levis, H. Le, I. Lucic, E. Simpson and S. Vo (eds) Proceedings of the 7th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Dallas, TX, October 15–17, 2015 (pp. 76–87). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Levis, J. (2018) Intelligibility: Oral Communication, and the Teaching of Pronunciation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Levis, J. and Wichmann, A. (2015) English intonation – Form and meaning. In M. Reed and J. Levis (eds) The Handbook of English Pronunciation (pp. 139–155). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Li, A. and Post, B. (2014) L2 acquisition of prosodic properties of speech rhythm: Evidence from L1 Mandarin and German learners of English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 36 (2), 223–255. Liberman, A. and Mattingly, I. (1985) The motor theory of speech perception revised. Cognition 21 (1), 1–36. McNerney, M. and Mendelsohn, D. (1992) Suprasegmentals in the pronunciation class: Setting priorities. In P. Avery and S. Ehrlich (eds) Teaching American English Pronunciation (pp. 185–196). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Munro, M.J. and Derwing, T.M. (1999) Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning 49, 285–310. Murphy, J. and Kandil, M. (2004) Word-level stress patterns in the academic word list. System 32 (1), 61–74. Paunović, T. and Savić, M. (2008) Discourse intonation – Making it work. In S. Komar and U. Mozetić (eds) As You Write It: Issues in Literature, Language, and Translation in the Context of Europe in the 21st Century (pp. 57–75), ELOPE, V, 1-2, Slovene Association for the Study of English and Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. Pennington, M. and Ellis, N. (2000) Cantonese speakers’ memory for English sentences with prosodic cues. The Modern Language Journal 84 (3), 372–389. Peperkamp, S., Vendelin, I. and Dupoux, E. (2010) Perception of predictable stress: A cross-linguistic investigation. Journal of Phonetics 38, 422–430. Puga, K., Fuchs, R., Hudson, T., Setter, J. and Mok, P. (2018) The perception-production link in intonation: Evidence from German learners of English. In K. Klessa, J. Bachan, A. Wagner, M. Karpiński and D. Śledziński (eds) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Speech Prosody, Poznan, Poland, June 13–16, 2018 (pp. 685–689). Adam Mickiewicz University.

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Reed, M. and Liu, D. (2020) Technology-enhanced L2 listening: Triangulating perception, production, and metalinguistic awareness. In O. Kang, S. Staples, K. Yaw and K. Hirschi (eds) Proceedings of the 11th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Flagstaff, Arizona, September 12–14, 2019 (pp. 95–104). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Reed, M. and Michaud, C. (2011) An integrated approach to pronunciation: Listening comprehension and intelligibility in theory and practice. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, September 10–11, 2010 (pp. 95–104). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Reed, M. and Michaud, C. (2015) Intonation in research and practice. In M. Reed and J. Levis (eds) The Handbook of English Pronunciation (pp. 454–470). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Roach, P. (2009) English Phonetics and Phonology (4th edn). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Roberts, A.D. (2011) The Role of Metalinguistic Awareness in the Effective Teaching of Foreign Languages. Oxford: Peter Lang. Sardegna, V.G. (2022) Evidence in favor of a strategy-based model for English pronunciation instruction. Language Teaching 55 (3), 363–378. Sluijter, A. and Van Heuven, V. (1996) Spectral balance as an acoustic correlate of linguistic stress. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 100 (4), 2471–2485. Wells, J.C. (2006) English Intonation: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wennerstrom, A. (1994) Intonational meaning in English discourse: A study of non-native speakers. Applied Linguistics 15 (4), 399–421. Wichmann, A. (2005) The role of intonation in the expression of attitudinal meaning. English Language and Linguistics 9 (2), 229–253 Wrembel, M. (2007) Metacompetence-based approach to the teaching of L2 prosody: Practical implications. In J. Trouvain and U. Gut (eds) Non-Native Prosody: Phonetic Description and Teaching Practice (pp. 189–209). The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter. Zielinski, B. (2008) The listener: No longer the silent partner in reduced intelligibility. System 36 (1), 69–84.

5 The Mediating Role of Individual Differences in Pronunciation Instruction: Extending the Research Agenda Mirosław Pawlak

Introduction

Second or foreign language (L2) pronunciation teaching can pursue disparate goals (e.g. the attainment of native-like accuracy or an acceptable level of intelligibility) and be conceived of in various ways (e.g. to improve the production and perception of phonological forms, or to ward off negative transfer from the first language [L1]) (Kennedy & Trofimovich, 2017). Regardless, however, pronunciation teaching is generally perceived as an integral component of form-focused instruction (FFI). FFI refers to ‘any attempt on the part of the teacher to encourage learners to attend to, understand, and gain greater control over targeted language features’ (Pawlak, 2014: 2). A FFI intervention encompasses a wide array of instructional options, ranging from drawing learners’ attention to pronunciation errors through explicit and/or implicit techniques in the course of meaning and message conveyance, or what Long (1991) originally described as focus on form, to providing explanations of possible intonation contours in the target language (TL) and controlled practice exercises (Doughty & Williams, 1998; Loewen, 2011; Pawlak, 2013, 2021; Ranta & Lyster, 2017). Most importantly, though, whichever techniques may be employed, their effectiveness hinges upon a number of mediating variables. One mediating variable is the teaching context since, for example, copious opportunities for exposure to the TL in second language settings put learners at an advantage in comparison with those in foreign language settings (macro-context), and the presence of previous instruction is likely to make intervention focused on pronunciation more effective (microcontext) (Pawlak, 2011, 2017a). Another mediating variable is the nature 52

The Mediating Role of Individual Differences in Pronunciation Instruction  53

of the pronunciation feature taught, including the learning challenge that it poses to learners. This variable has been explained in terms of language universals and developmental sequences (Ontogeny Model; Major, 2001), L1 transfer (Speech Learning Model; Flege, 1995) or markedness (Structural Conformity Hypothesis; Eckman, 1991). The most important mediating variables, however, appear to be a wide spectrum of individual difference (ID) factors which are bound to affect the process and product of the acquisition of L2 phonology, whether instructed or uninstructed (Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015; Pawlak, 2020; Pawlak & Kruk, 2002). The aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of research that has sought to determine whether and to what extent pronunciation i­ nstruction (PI) is mediated by ID factors. The chapter starts with an overview of recent research trends involving ID variables and investigations of the interplay between these variables and pronunciation learning. Next, it reviews the few studies that have sought to shed light on the moderating effects of ID factors on different PI approaches and suggests possible areas for future research. Subsequently, it discusses methodological issues to be considered when designing and conducting such empirical investigations. The chapter closes with some reflections on the need for future research into the interface between PI and ID factors, placing emphasis on the importance of interventionist studies. Individual Differences and Research into Pronunciation Learning and Teaching

For reasons of space, it is not possible to offer a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in research on ID factors, nor is it warranted given the focus of the present chapter. This section simply attempts to identify the most important research trends involving ID factors and the interfaces between such factors and pronunciation learning over the last two decades. An overview of the literature has revealed five main research trends involving ID factors. First, while some of the ID variables have never ceased to attract the attention of specialists, such as motivation or language learning strategies, others have somewhat fallen out of favor with researchers. For instance, the investigation of learning styles has been compared to ‘traversing a quagmire’ (Griffiths, 2012). Second, there have been major changes in the way in which some of the key ID factors are conceptualized in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research. Two good examples are the constructs of motivation and aptitude. Motivation has gone far beyond Gardner’s (1985) socio-educational model and is currently mainly investigated within the framework of the L2 motivational self-system (cf. Csizér, 2019). Aptitude, in turn, is at present often equated with different aspects of working memory (WM, Wen et al., 2016). Third, several new lines of inquiry have been opened up focusing, for example,

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on boredom (Pawlak et al., 2020), curiosity (Mahmoodzadeh & Khajavy, 2019) or grit (Teimouri et al., 2020). Although these research areas might have been of interest to educational psychologists, they have been blatantly overlooked by specialists in the field of L2 learning and teaching. Fourth, in recent years, attempts to account for the role of individual variation have increasingly become grounded in Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST, Hiver & Al-Hoorie, 2020; Larsen-Freeman & Cameron, 2008), which is perhaps best visible in the case of motivation (Dörnyei et al., 2015). Finally, there has been an evident shift of emphasis from large-scale, cross-sectional, questionnaire-based studies seeking to tap into relationships among different ID factors as well as ID factors and TL proficiency to more situated empirical investigations attempting to demonstrate how ID attributes are in a state of constant flux and to identify factors responsible for such dynamics. This trend could be described as a change of focus from the macro-perspective to the micro-perspective (Mystkowska-Wiertelak & Pawlak, 2017). Even though survey-based research is unlikely to be relegated to the sidelines nor should it be in view of all the invaluable insights it has produced, a more contextualized perspective on the role of IDs and their interactions certainly has its merits. Besides, adeptly combining these two perspectives can undoubtedly aid us in better understanding how individual learner variation can impact both the process and product of L2 learning (cf. Pawlak, 2017b, 2020; Pawlak & Kruk, 2022). Thus far, most research on the interfaces between different ID factors and learning L2 pronunciation has concerned the role of age (Moyer, 2014a; Muñoz & Singleton, 2010; Saito, 2015), which is not surprising given the numerous attempts to account for the influence of the critical or sensitive period hypothesis (Granena & Long, 2013; Lenneberg, 1967). What needs to be emphasized, however, is that age is often regarded as a demographic rather than an ID variable, which is evidenced in its exclusion from major publications dealing with individual variation in L2 learning and teaching (Dörnyei, 2005; Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015). Furthermore, two broad types of empirical investigations can be identified in existing research on the impact of other ID factors on TL pronunciation. The first line of inquiry includes studies that seek to determine the role of one or more ID variables with respect to the mastery of TL pronunciation features. Such studies are, for the most part, correlational in nature with the exception of those which involve some kind of instruction focusing on the attribute in question (e.g. strategies) or explore it in a longitudinal manner. Research projects of this kind have examined, among others, beliefs (Jarosz, 2019; Pawlak et al., 2015), anxiety (Szyszka, 2011), motivation (Huensch & Thompson, 2017; Nagle, 2018; Sardegna et al., 2014), willingness to communicate (WTC, Baran-Łucarz, 2014), aptitude (Saito et  al., 2019), WM (Simard et  al., 2020), cognitive and learning styles (Baran-Łucarz, 2012; Elliott, 1995; Hsu, 2016),

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pronunciation learning strategies (PLS, see Pawlak & Szyszka, 2018, for an overview), self-regulation (Moyer, 2014b) or the interplay of some of these variables (Sardegna et al., 2018; Szyszka, 2017) (see also Chapters 3 and 8). The second line of inquiry encompasses just a handful of empirical investigations which strive to tap into the mediating effects of ID factors on different types of pedagogical interventions falling under the rubric of FFI. It is this kind of research that is the primary concern of this chapter and will, thus, be addressed at greater length in the following section. ID Factors as Moderating Influences on the Effectiveness of Pronunciation Instruction

Referring to FFI in general, Pawlak (2017a: 87) commented that ‘researchers have only begun to scratch the surface when it comes to the mediating role of ID factors in form-focused instruction, with the available empirical evidence being scarce, patchy and inconclusive’. This goes to reinforce an earlier assessment by Spada (2011: 232), who wrote that: while there has been extensive research on individual differences and SLA …, and considerable research on the effects of instruction on SLA …, there has been little research on the interaction between individual and instructional variables and their combined effects on learning.

While these evaluations certainly continue to be valid, the situation is, in fact, much worse in the case of PI research, with the relevant studies clearly being few and far between. A relevant study is understood here as one that adopts an experimental or quasi-experimental design with one or more treatment groups and a control group; includes measures of the TL features prior to the intervention, immediately after as well as at a later point in time (i.e. delayed posttesting) (e.g. focused on production/ perception, in controlled/extemporaneous conditions); and taps into a specific ID variable to gauge its moderating effect on the mastery of TL pronunciation. What is particularly surprising as well as disconcerting is that ­relevant studies of the kind just described are seldom, if at all, mentioned in stateof-the-art publications devoted to L2 pronunciation teaching and learning. In addition, the need to conduct empirical work in this crucial domain  is not accorded the place it deserves in discussions of future research ­directions (see Brinton, 2017; Kennedy & Trofimovich, 2017; Munro & Derwing, 2015). A similar gap can also be seen in the most recent overviews of research on the efficacy of PI (e.g. Lee et al., 2015; Saito, 2012; Thompson & Derwing, 2015), which either completely overlook or superficially mention the mediating role of ID factors in pronunciation learning. For example, while Lee et al. (2015: 363) argue that ‘the interactions between different treatments and learner backgrounds (i.e.

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aptitude-treatment interaction research, or ATI) present a potential source of findings in PI with relevance for L2 theory and practice’, they fail to clarify what variables those learner backgrounds specifically refer to, what forms aptitude-treatment interaction could take, or how empirical investigations of these issues could augment our understanding of why different types of PI work or not. In defense of the authors of those overviews, meta-analyses and syntheses, the research conducted thus far in this area is clearly not sufficient to identify any consistent tendencies. Nonetheless, despite its shortcomings, PI research has uncovered some interesting information regarding ID factors. Helmke and Wu (1980), for example, demonstrated that different types of PI were better suited to high- and low-auditory discriminators, German learners of L2 contrasts in English. Such findings were recently corroborated by Kissling (2014) for learners of Spanish, although it was their initial pronunciation ability that proved to play the crucial role. Elliot (1995) explored the effect of field independence, as measured by means of the Group Embedded Figures Test (Witkin et al., 1971), and attitudes toward pronunciation accuracy in adult learners of Spanish as a foreign language who benefitted from short classes on segmental features in the TL. Although both ID factors failed to predict improvement, ‘multimodal instruction’ did, suggesting the necessity to cater to students’ preferences regarding learning styles. Kennedy et al. (2014) found that the development of pronunciation in L2 French for 30 adult learners taking a 15-week speaking and listening course hinged on their awareness of segmental and suprasegmental features. Awareness was conceptualized as the view of pronunciation as both a TL subsystem and a learning challenge. Also, some attention has been given to the mediating contribution of aptitude and WM – sometimes in connection with other IDs and contextrelated factors – to pronunciation learning. For instance, Aliaga-Garcia et  al. (2011) looked into the role of phonological short-term memory (PSTM) as a variable moderating the effects of PI, which consisted of 10 60-minute phonetic training sessions and focused on the perception of British monophthongs by 60 Spanish learners of L2 English. They found that the students in the high PSMT group scored higher and showed greater accuracy gains than their low PSMT counterparts, indicating the impact of WM on the efficacy of the intervention. Baker Smemoe and Haslam (2013) investigated the interactions of aptitude, determined on the basis of scores on the Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery (Pimsleur, 1966 [2003]), reported use of PLS, and educational context (i.e. second vs. foreign) with respect to different aspects of TL pronunciation (i.e. global foreign accent, fluency, compensability and accuracy) in the case of learners of English in the USA and China over the period of a 10-week speaking course. They discovered that, while PLS and context did not affect pronunciation gains, some variables did predict participants’ pronunciation scores on posttests. More specifically, the dimensions of global foreign

The Mediating Role of Individual Differences in Pronunciation Instruction  57

accent, fluency and accuracy were positively related to aptitude and motivation, whereas comprehensibility correlated with strategy use. Even a cursory look at this empirical evidence allows the conclusion that it is extremely scant not only in its volume but also in its scope, with just some ID factors being considered and not in a particularly consistent manner. For reasons of space, it is not possible to delve into the potential of all the ID factors that may moderate the effects of PI. Besides, the extent of their relevance is bound to depend on the specific techniques and procedures by means of which PI is implemented. Still, some obvious candidates for future empirical investigations need to be highlighted. One such candidate is undoubtedly motivation, irrespective of how it is conceptualized. If we adopt as a point of reference, for example, the theory of the L2 motivational system (Csizér, 2019; Dörnyei, 2009), an individual whose vision of the ideal L2 self includes pronunciation ability approximating that of native speakers is much more likely to be responsive to a variety of pedagogical interventions aimed to practice this subsystem than someone whose main concern is speaking in a way that will be easily intelligible, even if a foreign accent is present. By the same token, L2 learning experience, i.e. the component of the L2 motivational self-system which is directly related to the immediate classroom environment (Dörnyei, 2019), might determine the magnitude of motivated learning behavior in response to the instructional options employed, thus mediating the efficacy of these options. Furthermore, the way in which learners react to what transpires in the L2 classroom brings us to the mediating role of a range of IDs that constitute positive and negative emotions and that can enhance or, conversely, compromise, the efficacy of the selected techniques and procedures. To give an example, when a particular instructional option, such as minimal pair or discrimination practice, is regarded as unattractive, monotonous and repetitive, this might result in increased boredom (Pawlak et  al., 2020), diminished curiosity (Mahmoodzadeh & Khajavy, 2019), reduced enjoyment (Dewaele & Alfawzan, 2018) and a consequent decrease in the level of engagement (Mercer & Dörnyei, 2020). By contrast, reliance on more creative, engaging or novel ways of practicing L2 pronunciation features, such as the use of games or communication tasks, might boost positive feelings of curiosity and enjoyment, thereby translating into greater readiness to get involved in the activity at hand. It can also be assumed that some instructional techniques, such as those necessitating individual performance in front of the entire class, might prove to be more anxietyprovoking than others (Gkonou et al., 2017), thus potentially adversely impacting the contribution of PI. Worth mentioning at this point is also willingness to communicate (Mystkowska-Wiertelak & Pawlak, 2017), or readiness to take part in an interaction when an opportunity arises, since learners who are reluctant to do so might be less receptive to the use of instructional targets in more spontaneous communication or less willing

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to attempt self-correction in response to some corrective feedback (CF) moves, such as different types of prompts (Pawlak, 2014). Finally, whether or not a technique used in PI turns out to be effective might depend on learners’ creativity, whether it is examined as a component of Sternberg’s (1988) triarchic theory of intelligence or an ID factor in its own right (Ottó, 1998). While some studies have tapped into the mediating role of learning styles, PLS, aptitude or WM, they have done so quite superficially, often failing to consider their complex nature, or to gauge their differential effects as a function of the instructional options used, treating PI as an amalgam of techniques and procedures. Learning styles comprise other dimensions than just the distinction between field-dependence and fieldindependence (Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015), each of which might have a bearing on the efficacy of different PI approaches. For example, learners with a preference for an auditory learning style might not benefit much from graphical representations of how sounds are articulated or how intonation rises and falls, while those who tend to be more introverted may not appreciate drama techniques, especially those that entail group work. With respect to the use of PLS, there is certainly space for studies that would strive to relate their use to the efficacy of specific instructional options. One such example is the work of Sardegna. In a recent plenary speech, Sardegna (2022) discussed past and new findings comprising her 10 years of research investigating the efficacy of empowering adult ESL learners with PLS during a 15-week pronunciation course. Through her investigations, she found evidence suggesting that frequency of use and choice of PLS as well as high motivation, self-efficacy beliefs and target prioritization for practice using PLS contributed to significant short-term (4 months) and long-term (18 to 38 months) improvement with English linking, and word and phrase stress. A comparable control group that did not receive strategy-based PI did not improve, revealing the critical role of PLS use for pronunciation improvement. Yet, little is known about the efficacy of this approach with younger learners, other pronunciation targets and in foreign language settings. More empirical work is also required when it comes to the mediating influence of aptitude and working memory, for the reason that, yet again, the potential of these constructs has certainly not been fully exploited, and there has been no attempt to relate them to specific PI options. After all, we should not forget that the conceptualization of aptitude has been subject to numerous changes over the years (see Wen et al., 2016), there is much more to working memory than just PSTM (Wen, 2016), and it makes sense to develop measures of WM in participants’ first languages (Zychowicz et al., 2017). Additionally, it would be interesting to determine whether and to what extent different aspects of WM moderate the effectiveness of various techniques employed in teaching L2 pronunciation. While WM might play a negligible role in the case of explicit explanations of the workings of pronunciation

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features, its impact might be of vital importance during practice and CF on errors. The effectiveness of different options in PI may also be contingent on learners’ personality, a factor that has also been neglected by researchers, although, as Dörnyei and Ryan (2015: 34) point out, ‘Virtually everybody who has ever taught or learned a foreign language will affirm that aspects of personality determine the extent of success’. In line with this reasoning, if we apply the Big Five model of personality proposed by McCrae and Costa (2003) to teaching L2 pronunciation, it is warranted to assume, for instance, that learners who are more conscientious (i.e. efficient, meticulous, systematic, persevering, organized or hard-working) may be more likely to excel, somewhat regardless of the specific PI techniques. By contrast, students who are more neurotic (i.e. anxious, worrying, insecure or self-conscious) may reap few benefits from activities which put them in the spotlight or invite them to discuss their affective states. All of this only goes to show that more research into the mediating effects of ID factors in PI is indispensable if we wish to establish which instructional options are the most beneficial taking into account individual learner profiles. This said, two important caveats are in order. The first is related to the selection of the ID factors that should become the focus of empirical investigation. While it is tempting to follow in the footsteps of SLA researchers who have for the most part directed their efforts at examining the moderating influence of aptitude and WM, particularly with respect to different types of CF (Ahmadian, 2020), a question arises as to the relevance of such constructs to teaching and learning pronunciation in the classrooms. This is because teachers lack the requisite expertise to tap into these factors and even if they somehow were able to obtain the profiles of their learners with respect to different aspects of aptitude and WM, such information would in all likelihood be of little utility in everyday teaching practice (Biedroń & Pawlak, 2016; Pawlak, 2017a, 2017b, 2020; Pawlak & Kruk, 2022). This is certainly not to suggest that empirical investigations in these domains should be discontinued or that their findings are of no value whatsoever but, rather, that more pertinent lines of inquiry should also be pursued. In particular, more attention should be given to the ID factors on which practitioners may actually have a modicum of influence, or at the very least they can make provisions for their impact when choosing instructional techniques and procedures, such as various facets of motivation, curiosity, enjoyment, boredom, anxiety, WTC, beliefs, learning styles, PLS or creativity. It would also be insightful to shed light on interactions among various ID factors and their mediating effects on pronunciation attainment over time. The second caveat concerns the fact that extending the research agenda regarding the mediating role of IDs in PI in and of itself may not be overly helpful if resulting empirical studies lack the necessary methodological rigor. It is this crucial issue that is the focus of the following section.

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Methodological Issues

There are many pitfalls lurking for researchers conducting interventionist studies and research into the mediating effect of ID factors is by no means an exception. While some of these dangers can be said to afflict empirical investigations of FFI irrespective of the target of the pedagogical intervention, others are specifically related to research on teaching L2 pronunciation. On the one hand, while most classroom-based studies are by definition quasi-experimental as they use intact learner groups to ensure ecological validity, many still lack methodological rigor as they fail to include a control group, do not provide careful operationalization of instructional treatments, and investigate a relatively short pedagogical intervention. It is equally important to include immediate and delayed posttests and, whenever feasible, to use outcome measures that tap not only into explicit knowledge (i.e. such that is conscious and can be relied on when sufficient time is available) but also implicit, or highly automatized knowledge (i.e. such that can be drawn upon in real-time processing needed in spontaneous interaction) (DeKeyser, 2017). On the other hand, as noted by Lee et al.’s (2015), PI research suffers from many methodological limitations as well. In their meta-analysis of PI research, Lee et al. highlight the need to include larger samples, ­examine younger learners and such for whom English is neither the L1 nor the L2, include delayed posttests, go beyond predominantly controlled outcome measures (e.g. reading a text), extend the range of instructional targets to take into account a greater number of suprasegmental features, and look into the effects of ID factors, i.e. the very thing that the present chapter strives to encourage researchers to do. When examining the studies included in this meta-analysis and those overviewed earlier in this chapter, two more limitations come to mind: little effort to tease apart the effects of different PI approaches and the predominant use of controlled outcome measures. Some PI approaches are simply bound to be more efficacious than others. Also, while some studies investigate learners’ TL production mostly and also unfortunately in a controlled manner, others equate progress with the ability to perceive these features in spoken texts or pieces of discourse. Furthermore, given the appeals for the abandonment of nativespeaker norms, there is a question as to whether learners’ production, whatever form it might take, is assessed in terms of accentedness, intelligi­ bility or comprehensibility, and whether the judges should be native speakers or proficient TL users (Kennedy & Trofimovich, 2017). Things become even more complex if we choose to focus not on specific segmental and suprasegmental features (i.e. system-learning) but rather opt for ­particular words whose pronunciation is highly problematic for a given group of learners (i.e. item-learning) (Szpyra-Kozłowska, 2015). There are also some key issues that need to be carefully considered when examining the mediating role of ID factors in PI. In the first place, leaving aside the obvious limitation of the scant volume of existing

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empirical evidence and the evidently narrow spectrum of variables that have been explored, it is obvious that the available studies have not kept up with the latest developments in SLA research. To be more precise, such research has by and large failed to incorporate the new theoretical frameworks within which some of the most popular ID variables are examined (e.g. motivation, aptitude), has not even begun to give attention to the newcomers to the field (e.g. boredom, curiosity, enjoyment), and has not been informed by latest research paradigms, such as CDST. The immediate consequence of such a state of affairs is that the data-collection tools are not always up-to-date, and the factors under investigation are usually viewed as static, with relevant measurements being taken just once. While there is nothing wrong with this approach and it is by no means argued here that it should be abandoned, there is much that could be learned about the mediating role of ID factors if they are investigated in a more situated manner. For example, while a global measure of WTC might shed v­ aluable light on the efficacy of different options in PI, it could be even more illumi­ nating if we were to consider the cumulative average of participants’ selfratings of readiness to speak at the end of classes in which specific techniques were implemented or relate treatment gains to fluctuations in self-reported WTC levels during those classes, as indicated by learners’ self-evaluations at specific points in time. Additionally, regardless of whether the methodology is informed by recent developments in ID research in SLA, it must be kept in mind that the adoption of different theoretical frameworks involves the use of diverse research instruments, which makes comparisons of findings across studies very difficult, if not impossible. Lastly, as is the case with all empirical investigations into IDs, the surveys used should be carefully piloted and validated in specific contexts, and the internal consistency reliability of the scales and subscales needs to be carefully determined at all times. Conclusion

Whatever the educational context or the instructional options used, the effects of FFI are bound to be mediated by a wide range of ID factors, and PI is certainly no exception. Sadly, surprisingly little is known about how specific ID variables or combinations of such variables impinge on the effectiveness of particular instructional options in teaching pronunciation. The main reason for this is that when researchers set out to investigate the role of ID factors in regard to teaching pronunciation, they manifest a preference for cross-sectional research where relevant data are collected from large samples, both on a specific ID variable and pronunciation attainment however this attainment might be operationalized. Such an approach is understandable since it is the most commonly used in SLA to investigate ID variables and is easy to implement. Nevertheless, if we wish to extend our understanding of how ID factors interact with different

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techniques and procedures in PI, either enhancing or diminishing their effectiveness, there is an obvious need for an approach that investigates their impact in interventionist studies. In light of the paucity of empirical evidence in this respect, this is, without doubt, a research agenda that is worth exploring, not least as it holds the promise of providing tangible guidelines for more efficacious teaching of TL pronunciation. References Ahmadian, M.J. (2020) Explicit and implicit instruction of refusal strategies: Does working memory capacity play a role? Language Teaching Research 24, 163–188. Aliaga-Garcia, C., Mora, J.C. and Cerviño-Povedano, E. (2011) L2 speech learning in adulthood and phonological short-term memory. Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 71, 1–14. Baker Smemoe, W. and Haslam, N. (2013) The effect of language learning aptitude, strategy use and learning context on L2 pronunciation learning. Applied Linguistics 43, 435–456. Baran-Łucarz, M. (2012) Individual learner differences and accuracy in foreign language pronunciation. In M. Pawlak (ed.) New Perspectives on Individual Differences in Second Language Learning and Teaching (pp. 289–303). Heidelberg: Springer. Baran-Łucarz, M. (2014) The link between pronunciation anxiety and willingness to communicate in the foreign–language classroom: The Polish EFL context. Canadian Modern Language Review 70, 445–473. Biedroń, A. and Pawlak, M. (2016) The interface between research on individual difference variables and teaching practice: The case of cognitive factors and personality. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 6, 395–422. Brinton, D. (2017) Pronunciation. In E. Hinkel (ed.) Handbook of Research on Second Language Teaching and Learning (Vol. III, pp. 257–269). New York: Routledge. Csizér, K. (2019) L2 motivational self system. In M. Lamb, K. Csizér, A. Henry and S. Ryan (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Motivation for Language Learning (pp. 71–93). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. DeKeyser, R. (2017) Knowledge and skill in SLA. In S. Loewen and M. Sato (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (pp. 15–32). New York and London: Routledge. Dewaele, J.-M. and Alfawzan, M. (2018) Does the effect of enjoyment outweigh that of anxiety in foreign language performance? Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8, 21–45. Dörnyei, Z. (2005) The Psychology of the Language Learner: Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Routledge. Dörnyei, Z. (2009) The L2 motivational self system. In Z. Dörnyei and E. Ushioda (eds) Motivation, Language Identity and the L2 Self (pp. 9–42). Bristol: Multilingual Matters Dörnyei, Z. (2019) Towards a better understanding of the L2 learning experience, the Cinderella of the L2 motivational self system. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 9, 19–30. Dörnyei, Z., MacIntyre, P.D. and Henry, A. (2015) Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Dörnyei, Z. and Ryan, S. (2015) The Psychology of the Language Learner Revisited. New York: Routledge. Doughty, C.J. and Williams, J. (1998) Pedagogical choices in focus on form. In C.J. Doughty and J. Williams (eds) Focus on Form in Classrooms Second Language Acquisition (pp. 197–261). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Eckman, F. (1991) The structural conformity hypothesis and the acquisition of consonant clusters in the interlanguage of ESL learners. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 13, 23–41. Elliott, A.R. (1995) Foreign language phonology: Field independence, attitude, and the success of formal instruction in Spanish pronunciation. Modern Language Journal 79, 530–542. Flege, J.E. (1995) Second language speech learning: Theory, findings and problems. In E.  Strange (ed.) Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Theoretical and Methodological Issues (pp. 233–277). Timonium, MD: York Gardner, R.C. (1985) Social Psychology and Second Language Learning: The Role of Attitudes and Motivation. London: Edward Arnold. Granena, G. and Long, M.H. (2013) Age of onset, length of residence, language aptitude, and ultimate L2 attainment in three linguistic domains. Second Language Research 29, 311–343. Gkonou, C., Daubney, M. and Dewaele, J.-M. (eds) (2017) New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Griffiths, C. (2012) Learning styles: Traversing the quagmire. In S. Mercer, S. Ryan and M. Williams (eds) Psychology for Language Learning (pp. 151–168). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Helmke, B. and Wu, Y. (1980) Individual differences and foreign language pronunciation. Revue De Phonetique Appliquee 53, 25–34. Hiver, P. and Al-Hoorie, A.H. (2020) Research Methods for Complexity Theory in Applied Linguistics. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Hsu, L. (2016) An empirical examination of EFL learners’ perceptual learning styles and acceptance of ASR-based computer-assisted pronunciation training. Computer Assisted Language Learning 29, 881–900. Huensch, A. and Thompson, A.S. (2017) Contextualizing attitudes toward pronunciation: Foreign language learners in the United States. Foreign Language Annals 50, 410–432. Jarosz, A. (2019) English Pronunciation in L2 Instruction: The Case of Secondary School Learners. Cham: Springer Nature. Kennedy, S., Blanchet, J. and Trofimovich, P. (2014) Learner pronunciation, awareness, and instruction in French as a second language. Foreign Language Annals 47, 79–96. Kennedy, S. and Trofimovich, P. (2017) Pronunciation acquisition. In S. Loewen and M. Sato (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (pp. 205–223). New York and London: Routledge. Kissling, E. (2014) What predicts the effectiveness of foreign-language pronunciation instruction? Investigating the role of perception and other individual differences. Canadian Modern Language Review 70, 532–558. Larsen-Freeman, D. and Cameron, L. (2008) Complex Systems and Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lee, J., Jang, J. and Plonsky, L. (2015) The effectiveness of second language pronunciation instruction: A meta-analysis. Applied Linguistics 36, 345–366. Lenneberg, E.H. (1967) Biological Foundations of Language. New York: Wiley. Loewen, S. (2011) Focus on form. In E. Hinkel (ed.) Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning: Volume II (pp. 576–592). New York and London: Routledge. Long, M.H. (1991) Focus on form: A design feature in language teaching methodology. In K. de Bot, R. Ginsberg and C. Kramsch (eds) Foreign Language Research in CrossCultural Perspective (pp. 39–52). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Major, R.C. (2001) Foreign Accent: The Ontogeny and Phylogeny of Second Language Phonology. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Mahmoodzadeh, M. and Khajavy, G.H. (2019) Towards conceptualizing language learning curiosity in SLA: An empirical study. Journal of Psycholinguistics Research 48, 333–351.

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McCrae, R.R. and Costa, P.T. Jr. (2003) Personality in Adulthood: A Five-Factor Theory Perspective (2nd edn). New York: Guilford Press. Mercer, S. and Dörnyei, Z. (2020) Engaging Language Learners in Contemporary Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Moyer, A. (2014a) What’s age got to do with it? Accounting for individual factors in second language accent. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 4, 443–464. Moyer, A. (2014b) Exceptional outcomes in L2 phonology: The critical factors of learner engagement and self regulation. Applied Linguistics 35, 418–440. Muñoz, C. and Singleton, D. (2010) A critical review of age-related research on L2 ultimate attainment. Language Teaching 44, 1–35. Munro, M.J. and Derwing, T.M. (2015) A prospectus for pronunciation research in the 21st century. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation 1, 11–42. Mystkowska-Wiertelak, A. and Pawlak, M. (2017) Willingness to Communicate in Instructed Second Language Acquisition: Combining a Macro- and MicroPerspective. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Nagle, C. (2018) Motivation, comprehensibility, and accentedness in L2 Spanish: Investigating motivation as a time-varying predictor of pronunciation development. Modern Language Journal 102, 199–217. Ottó, I. (1998) The relationship between individual differences in learner creativity and language learning success. TESOL Quarterly 32, 763–773. Pawlak, M. (2011) Students’ successes and failures in learning foreign language pronunciation: Insights from diary data. In J. Arabski and A. Wojtaszek (eds) The Acquisition of L2 Phonology (pp. 165–182). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Pawlak, M. (2013) Principles of instructed language learning revisited: Guidelines for effective grammar teaching in the foreign language classroom. In K. Droździał-Szelest and M. Pawlak (eds) Psycholinguistic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Teaching: Studies in Honor of Waldemar Marton (pp. 199– 220). Heidelberg: Springer. Pawlak, M. (2014) Error Correction in the Foreign Language Classroom: Reconsidering the Issues. Heidelberg: Springer. Pawlak, M. (2017a) Individual differences variables as mediating influences on success and failure in form-focused instruction. In E. Piechurska-Kuciel and M. Szyszka (eds) At the Crossroads: Challenges of Foreign Language Learning (pp. 75–92). Heidelberg: Springer. Pawlak, M. (2017b) Overview of learner individual differences and their mediating effects on the process and outcome of interaction. In L. Gurzynski-Weiss (ed.) Expanding Individual Difference Research in the Interaction Approach: Investigating Learners, Instructors, and Other Interlocutors (pp. 19–40). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Pawlak, M. (2020) Individual differences and good language teachers. In C. Griffiths and Z. Tajeddin (eds) Lessons From Good Language Teachers (pp. 121–132). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pawlak, M. (2021) Teaching foreign language grammar: New solutions, old problems. Foreign Language Annals 54, 881–896. Pawlak, M. and Kruk, M. (2022) Individual Differences in Computer Assisted Language Learning Research. New York: Routledge. Pawlak, M., Kruk, M. and Zawodniak, J. (2020) Investigating individual trajectories in experiencing boredom in the language classroom: The case of 11 Polish students of English. Language Teaching Research 26, 598–616. Pawlak, M., Mystkowska-Wiertelak, A. and Bielak, J. (2015) Exploring advanced learners’ beliefs about pronunciation instruction and their relationship with attainment. In E. Waniek-Klimczak and M. Pawlak (eds) Teaching and Researching the Pronunciation of English: Studies in Honor of Włodzimierz Sobkowiak (pp. 3–22). Cham: Springer.

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Pawlak, M. and Szyszka, M. (2018) Researching pronunciation learning strategies: An overview and a critical look. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8, 293–323. Pimsleur, P. (1966 [2003]) The Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery. Bethesda, MD: Second Language Testing. Ranta, L. and Lyster, R. (2017) Form-focused instruction. In P. Garrett and J.M. Cots (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Language Awareness. New York: Routledge. Saito, K. (2012) Effects of instruction on L2 pronunciation development: A synthesis of 15 quasi-experimental intervention studies. TESOL Quarterly 46, 842–854. Saito, K. (2015) The role of age of acquisition in late second language oral proficiency attainment. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37, 713–743. Saito, K., Suzukida, Y. and Sun, H. (2019) Aptitude, experience, and second language pronunciation proficiency development in classroom settings: A longitudinal study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 41, 201–225. Sardegna, V.G. (2022) Evidence in favor of a strategy-based model for English pronunciation instruction. Language Teaching 55 (3), 363–378. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2014) Development and validation of the learner attitudes and motivations for pronunciation (LAMP) inventory. System 47, 162–175. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2018) Self-efficacy, attitudes, and choice of strategies for English pronunciation learning. Language Learning 68, 83–114. Simard, D., Molokopeeva, T. and Zhang, Y.-Q. (2020) The contribution of working memory to L2 French pronunciation among adult language learners. Canadian Modern Language Review 76, 50–69. Spada, N. (2011) Beyond form-focused instruction: Reflections on past, present and future research. Language Teaching 44, 225–236. Sternberg, R.J. (1988) The Triarchic Mind: A New Theory of Human Intelligence. New York: Viking. Szpyra-Kozłowska, J. (2015) Pronunciation in EFL Instruction: A Research-Based Approach. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Szyszka, M. (2011) Foreign language anxiety and self-perceived English pronunciation competence. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 1, 283–300. Szyszka, M. (2017) Pronunciation Learning Strategies and Language Anxiety: In Search of an Interplay. Cham: Springer. Teimouri, Y., Plonsky, L. and Tabandeh, F. (2020) L2 grit: Passion and perseverance for second-language learning. Language Teaching Research 26, 893–918. Thompson, R.I. and Derwing, T.M. (2015) The effectiveness of L2 pronunciation instruction: A narrative review. Applied Linguistics 36, 326–344. Wen, Z. (2016) Working Memory and Second Language Learning: Towards an Integrated Approach. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Wen, Z., Biedroń, A. and Skehan, P. (2016) Foreign language aptitude theory: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Language Teaching 50, 1–31. Witkin, H.A., Oltman, P.K., Raskin, E. and Karp, S.A. (1971) A Manual for the Embedded Figures Test. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press. Zychowicz, K., Biedroń, A. and Pawlak, M. (2017) Polish Listening SPAN: A new tool for measuring verbal working memory. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 7, 601–618.

6 English Pronunciation in a Context Between ESL and EFL: The Swedish Case Mara Haslam

Introduction

The consensus in the field of second language (L2) pronunciation is that pronunciation teachers should teach for increased intelligibility (Levis, 2005) and that intelligibility is based on what the listener finds easy or difficult to understand (Derwing & Munro, 2015). For this reason, at the time of deciding on teaching priorities and goals, good pronunciation teachers take into account not only their students’ speech but also who their students’ listeners might be. In English as a Second Language (ESL) contexts, where L2 speakers are most likely to interact with native speakers of the language, it seems more appropriate to teach pronunciation features that native English speakers find intelligible. In contrast, in English as Foreign Language (EFL) contexts, where students are most likely to use their English to interact with other non-native English speakers, focusing on pronunciation features that make English more intelligible to non-native English speakers seems a more reasonable goal. However, what variety should teachers teach in a context that does not fit neatly into either the ESL or the EFL category? Such is the case in Sweden, where English is not the primary language of social interaction and yet has a deep-seated role in the culture and identity of the Swedish people. Traditional pronunciation instruction in Sweden has focused on following British English (BrE) models, but in recent years, this focus has changed. This chapter examines information regarding pronunciation beliefs, attitudes, practices and goals in Sweden to argue for the need to consider a pronunciation model in Sweden (and places like Sweden) that accepts and teaches different varieties of English – i.e. a model that allows learners to choose their own intelligibility goals based on their communicative needs. This chapter starts with a discussion of the place of English in Sweden as somewhere on the continuum between ESL and EFL. It then describes English pronunciation teaching in Sweden and reviews literature that 66

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provides insights into Swedish teachers’ and students’ beliefs, attitudes, preferences and practices around English pronunciation. The chapter concludes with a call for reflection on the need to expose students to multiple pronunciation models so that they can choose the one that best suits their needs. The implications of this approach for pronunciation teaching and pronunciation teacher education in Sweden and other similar locations are discussed at the end of the chapter. English in Sweden

Sweden has a long history with English, and, over the years, English has increasingly become a large part of Swedish life. English is highly visible in Sweden as part of print advertising, television programming, computer games, textbooks, university lectures and more. Researchers have argued for English being either a foreign language (FL) or a second language (SL) in Sweden. I argue that English in Sweden falls somewhere in between FL and SL status. As Ringbom (1980: 39) states: ‘[A] dual distinction is an oversimplification. Two points on a scale are selected to illustrate opposites, where in actual fact there is a continuum’. In addition, it appears that a new kind of English, Swedish English, is emerging in Sweden as Swedes and others recognize Swedish ownership of English. The arguments in favor of English having an EFL status in Sweden are quite obvious. Most interactions in Swedish society take place in Swedish. Swedish is also overwhelmingly the language of compulsory education. Henry (2016: 442) maintains that ‘monolingual norms prevail’ since Swedish is ‘the key to “integration”’ into Swedish society, though English can be used in many situations. Hult (2012) places English below Swedish in the language hierarchy in Sweden and points out that, in education, the main use of English is for language instruction (also confirmed by Kuteeva, 2018). This is similar to what we would expect of a language characterized as FL. Many scholars also support the possibility that English is a second language in Sweden. For example, Hult (2003) mentions that English is often a part of daily interactions, Melander (2000) states that life in Sweden would be difficult without English, and Henry (2016) stresses that English is necessary for participation in Swedish society. English is often used in higher education contexts and academic publishing (Bolton & Kuteeva, 2012; Kuteeva, 2018) and in other ‘elite domains’ (Berg et al., 2001). However, English is also used in regular life, so-called ‘low-status domains’ (Beers Fägersten, 2012). As Beers Fägersten (2017) notes, English is used not only for travel or consumption of English-language media, but as a language of play. Additionally, many visitors to Sweden find that they can ask a question to someone nearby in English and get English answers in return (cf. Cunningham, 2009). This behavior can be explained by the high English proficiency of the Swedish public. In fact, the Education First

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(EF) English Proficiency Index test ranks Sweden as the second most English-proficient country in Europe, second only to the Netherlands (EF, 2020). However, the role of English in Swedish society is deeper than just a high level of FL proficiency. A number of recent studies has highlighted that English is also used as a language of individual expression in Sweden, together with Swedish. Indeed, it seems at times that a knowledge of English is necessary to be a proficient user of Swedish, since Swedes use English for certain pragmatic functions. For example, speech in Swedish is often punctuated with English words and phrases for pragmatic effect. This has been observed in daily interactions (Hult, 2003), business contexts (Sharp, 2007) and interpersonal interactions among Swedes as reflected in comics (Beers Fägersten, 2012). Beers Fägersten (2012: 260) further describes that ‘English has been established in Sweden as a valid choice of language for communication, thus enabling both situational and metaphorical switching’, and Sharp (2007: 238) explains that ‘[i]n its capacity as an auxiliary language, English enriches the lexical stock, enables stylistic variation, adds expressivity, and signals certain interpersonal relations and values’. In sum, English is ‘near ubiquitous’ in Sweden (Henry, 2016: 442). Research findings even point to the emergence of a new variety of English, Swedish English, being recognized both by Swedes themselves and by other English users. For instance, Kuteeva et al. (2015) found that a speaker of another English variety recognized and referred to Swedish English as an English variety. Similarly, when asked what kind of pronunciation they wanted to have in English, some Swedish students in Eriksson’s (2019: 214) study answered ‘Swedish’ or ‘like myself’. Also, one of the Swedish participants in Forsberg et al. (2019: 51) reported that, according to native-speaking friends, he had a ‘Scandinavian academic dialect’. When asked about European Englishes, Mohr et al.’s (2021: 88) participant, an English teacher in Sweden, responded: ‘These varieties already exist, although not officially, as local varieties of the English taught in every European country’. As Kuteeva (2014: 341) affirms: If we return to the question of who ‘owns’ academic English in Sweden, the answer is by and large, native speakers of Swedish… they are usually the ones who set the standard and measure what English is or is not acceptable.

In summary, English in Sweden is not the primary language of interaction in many domains and can, therefore, be characterized as an FL. However, English plays an important part in Swedish life, Swedish expression and Swedish identity and, therefore, can be characterized as an SL. The reality lies somewhere in between the two extremes, and I, therefore, argue that a continuum (Ringbom, 1980) is better for capturing the deep-seated place of English in Swedish society.

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English Teaching and Teachers and Students of English in Sweden

Until 1994, curriculum documents in Sweden specifically listed BrE (i.e. RP/Received Pronunciation) as the dialect that should be taught in Swedish schools (Modiano, 2009). Current curriculum documents do not have any specific instructions for pronunciation teaching for younger children, but, at the upper secondary level, exposure to many different varieties of English is encouraged. Very few scholarly studies have been done about Swedish attitudes to varieties of English, but the evidence supports that both teachers and students believe that, in practice, BrE and American English (AmE; i.e. GA/General American) are the only two viable varieties. In fact, the idea that RP or GA are the only two possible varieties is often such a foregone conclusion that this dual choice is also reflected in research, as demonstrated in the title of Mobärg’s (2002) study, ‘RP or GA? On Swedish school students’ choice of English pronunciation’. Inconsistencies in the attitudes of Swedish teachers of English towards varieties of English are revealed in Forsberg et al. (2019). In this study, a majority (89%) of Swedish teachers of English reported that they had not been given specific instructions to teach a certain variety of English in the classroom, and some participants pointed out that the curriculum specifically recommends exposing students to different varieties of English. However, these teachers also showed in their answers that they limited the varieties they taught to BrE and AmE, with one participant affirming: ‘I’ve heard that only British or American standardized varieties are accepted’ (Forsberg et al., 2019: 44). Jeong (2019) underscores that phonetic education in teacher education programs in Sweden has often been ignored or has taught teachers to become ‘pushers’ of one native dialect. Likewise, the majority of teachers in Söderlund and Modiano’s (2002) study responded ‘British English’ when asked which variety they taught and which they used, and reported ‘British English’ and ‘Mid-Atlantic English’ (a mixture of BrE and AmE) equally when asked which kind of English they preferred. Teacher participants in Forsberg et al. (2019) rejected the idea of using Euro-English, with some stating that native-speaker targets were the only acceptable targets (apparently meaning only BrE and AmE). In fact, further evidence shows that some teachers may limit the possibilities to BrE only since some students in Westergren Axelsson’s (2002: 142) study also indicated that their teachers preferred BrE and that their reason was that ‘BrE is the “proper” English’. The question of whether consistency in variety of English should be used was also explored by Forsberg et al. (2019), with slightly more than half of the teachers attesting that they always required the same variety and others ensuring that they required consistency at different times (such

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as in writing but not in speaking). Based on their analysis, Forsberg et al. (2019: 55) concluded: There are, however, strong indications that teachers are in conflict between learned and didactic ideals, with the former being what they themselves may have been instructed to use (an English belonging to the native speaker), and the latter being what is currently in the curricula … : the goal of enabling effective communication and allowing pupils to experience and learn about many different Englishes.

Söderlund and Modiano (2002: 147) believe that teachers’ emphasis on consistency grew out of teachers’ concern about the ‘intrusion’ of AmE features in their students’ English. They explain that ‘the activity rules out a third alternative, a “standard” based on the mixing of features of BrE and AmE’. While Söderlund and Modiano’s (2002) chapter expands the view of possibilities only a little by including Mid-Atlantic English as a possible alternative to BrE and AmE, their consideration of a non-native variety of English prefigures the argument that I make here: Teachers should focus on teaching varieties that will help their students to be understood in the contexts where they will likely communicate. Teachers’ continued adherence to a native variety as a standard for teaching, as recently demonstrated by Forsberg et al. (2019), appears to go against that goal. A handful of studies has dealt with students’ attitudes and realized pronunciation. While Forsberg et al. (2019) dealt primarily with teachers’ beliefs and practices, the teachers in their study asserted that students favored the AmE variety. Mobärg (2002) recorded sixth to ninth grade Swedish students reading English texts aloud and then assigned their ­pronunciations to either the RP or GA category, depending on how they ­pronounced three aspects of pronunciation: t-voicing (flapping), the ­pronunciation of the bath vowel, and yod dropping. The final count was RP = 64%, GA = 29% and other = 7%. Similarly, Westergren Axelsson (2002) examined six indicators – pronunciation of final and pre-­consonantal ‘r’, /t/ flapping, and pronunciation of example words containing the bath, lot, cloth and nurse vowels – in the English pronunciation of Swedish university students. The researcher found that, out of the 130 participants that were recorded reading a text, almost half (48%) used BrE pronunciation consistently, 22% used AmE pronunciation and 30% used features of both varieties. However, when asked, a larger proportion of participants reported using AmE pronunciation (28%). Also, more than half of the students (54%) expressed that they preferred BrE. Student responses suggested that they associated BrE with ‘beauty and pleasantness of its sound’ and ‘[p]oliteness, neatness, charm and correctness’ (Westergren Axelsson, 2002: 142). Those with ‘mixed’ varieties claimed that they learned BrE in school and AmE from television, often using exposure to American television as the reason they used AmE

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despite thinking BrE was better or nicer. Ultimately, the study uncovered discrepancies among students’ preferred variety, the variety they claimed to use and the variety they actually used. Söderlund and Modiano (2002) similarly examined the pronunciation preferences and actual uses of Swedish upper-secondary school students. They determined that these students’ preferred variety was AmE although the majority reported that the variety they used was Mid-Atlantic English. In Eriksson’s (2019) study, Swedish upper-secondary students stated that they wanted to learn both BrE and AmE, but of those who chose only one variety, BrE was chosen more often than AmE. Just as in Westergren Axelsson’s (2002) study from almost 20 years earlier, the students in Eriksson’s (2019) study associated BrE with words like formal, intellectual, prestigious and proper and AmE with words like casual, simple, sloppy and authentic. Eriksson’s (2019) participants also declared that exposure to American television was the reason for their use of AmE. The discrepancy between the variety of English that students prefer and the variety they claim to use suggests that students may be responding to the fact that they have different communicative needs than those that just BrE can fulfill. While their beliefs about which dialect is best are likely to be influenced by their teachers’ attitudes, their actual pronunciation can be influenced not only by which varieties they are exposed to but also by which varieties meet their communicative needs. Those who reported using Mid-Atlantic English apparently found that neither BrE nor AmE pronunciation was suitable for their communicative purposes. Nevertheless, it is still common to find that students, teachers and often even researchers only recognize two native dialects for Swedish students to choose from: BrE and AmE. Pronunciation Targets for Sweden

As I have shown, much of English teaching in Sweden is still focused on which of two native dialects students should imitate. I have also argued that students may find that this focus does not meet their communicative needs. One obvious reason why a focus on replicating a native variety of English does not work for Swedish speakers of English is that they do not live in a traditional ESL environment. That is, for learners of English who live in the US, American English is a natural target; for those who live in Nigeria, Nigerian English is a natural target; for those who live in Scotland, Scottish English is a natural target; and so on. Swedish society does not use any native variety of English widely for daily operations and, thus, does not have such a natural pronunciation target. While Swedish English, a new variety, is emerging in Sweden, this variety does not seem to carry the same kind of weight as AmE or BrE in the attitudes of teachers and many students in Sweden. So Swedish learners who would like to imitate a certain variety are left with the problem of which variety to

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imitate. There is no reason to believe that any native variety is better than any other as a target for Swedish learners because they do not live in a purely ESL situation. This makes the traditional choice between BrE and AmE seem arbitrary and rather beside the point. The main problem with focusing on imitating a native variety is, however, not that it is difficult to know which variety to imitate, but rather that it focuses on how the speaker should sound, rather than on how the speaker can adapt to the listener. Good pronunciation teaching focuses not on making the speaker sound exactly like a native, but rather on making the person more intelligible to potential listeners. In an ESL context, those potential listeners are native speakers, but in an EFL context, those potential listeners are more likely to be non-native speakers given the fact that the great majority of English users in the world are non-native speakers. A Swedish businessperson who is doing business with a Japanese businessperson in English, for example, does not need to worry about how British he or she sounds, but rather how well he or she is communicating to his or her Japanese audience. This is the reason for exploring concepts such as Mid-Atlantic English and Euro-English, as mentioned earlier, or the more recent English as an International Language or English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) (Jenkins, 2000). However, discussion around these topics can also tend to establish a standard for learners to imitate. Why should we teach a standard if our learners will not be speaking to a standard audience? Therefore, I feel that the benefit of research into, e.g. ELF is not for the purposes of establishing a standard but rather to find out what aspects of speech make pronunciation more intelligible to different audiences. For example, this kind of research has given us Jenkins’ (2000) Lingua Franca Core, which, while still relatively untested (Haslam & Zetterholm, 2016a, 2016b, 2019), provides a possible syllabus for ELF pronunciation. The importance of the Lingua Franca Core is not necessarily that its syllabus should be followed exactly, considering that the data on which it was based was limited, and it has, thus, rightfully been subjected to a significant amount of criticism (cf. Dauer, 2005; Remiszewski, 2008; Ugarte Olea, 2019). Rather, the Lingua Franca Core represents a seminal attempt to compile the kind of list of suggestions that could be useful in non-ESL situations, and a ‘starting point’ (Pickering, 2006: 229) which provides further studies something to compare to (e.g. Haslam & Zetterholm, 2016a, 2016b, 2019; McCrocklin, 2012; Thir, 2020). To conclude, what should the focus of pronunciation instruction be in Sweden? I believe there is no need to target just one pronunciation variety since Swedish students will have more than one intended audience. If we teach our students to adapt their English to the situation and teach them ways to make those kinds of adaptations in their own speech, we can help to ensure that they will be able to communicate with any English speaker they encounter, native or non-native. Instead of teaching these students one variety, I advocate that we teach them a number of different features

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that they can choose from to adapt their English to the intelligibility requirements of the situation they encounter. When their audience is fellow native speakers of Swedish, such as when English is used for pragmatic effect in Swedish conversation or in advertising for the Swedish audience, features of Swedish English would be appropriate. While Swedish English has been largely unexplored, the following list of possible features of Swedish English comes from what we know based on prior publications and my own observations: • /ʃ/, /ş/ or /ɕ/ instead of /ʧ/ and /ʒ/ (Cunningham, 2015; Eklund & Lindström, 1998; Ferguson, 1994; Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /ş/, /ɧ/ or /ɕ/ instead of /ʃ/ (Eklund & Lindström, 1998) • /s/ instead of /z/ (Cunningham, 2015; Ferguson, 1994; Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /j/ instead of /ʤ/ (Cunningham, 2015; Eklund & Lindström, 1998; Ferguson, 1994; Lindström & Eklund, 1999; Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /v/ instead of /w/ (Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /s/, /t/ or /f/ instead of /θ/; and /r/, /d/ or /v/ instead of /ð/ (Cunningham, 2015; Eklund & Lindström, 1998; Lindström & Eklund, 1999; Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /u/ instead of /ʊ/ (Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • /i/ instead of /i/ (Cunningham, 2015; Nilsson & Nilsson, 2010) • [ɑ] or [ɒ] in words such as ‘class’, ‘after’, and ‘dance’ (Ferguson, 1994) • [ɨ] as a possible realization of /i/ • Only ‘light’ realizations of /l/ (Cunningham, 2015; Eklund & Lindström, 1998) • Dentals rather than alveolars for /t/, /d/ and /s/ • Assimilation of retroflex character to following coronal consonants, e.g. ‘airport’ realized as [eəpɔʈ] (Cunningham, 2015; Ferguson, 1994) • Use of Swedish-like complementarity in length of vowels and following consonants (Thorén, 2007) • Flexibility in word stress on certain words to match the word stress of cognates in Swedish • Use of Swedish pitch-accent patterns (Ferguson, 1994) When the audience is other non-native speakers of English, features that increase intelligibility for those speakers would be appropriate. Possible features could be rhoticity, correct use of vowel length and correct pronunciation of most consonants, as highlighted in Jenkins’ (2000) Lingua Franca Core. We can also teach learners which things are less likely to affect intelligibility and are, therefore, less worthy of their focus, such as the correct pronunciation of /θ/ and /ð/ and vowel quality (Jenkins, 2000; Haslam & Zetterholm, 2016b). Teaching these aspects of pronunciation at all grade levels would be appropriate, not just in upper secondary grades as is required in the current curriculum.

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Implications

In this chapter, I have argued that pronunciation education in Sweden should not focus on just one standard, but rather teach students to be able to manipulate certain phonetic features in their own speech to make it more intelligible to a number of different audiences. The two most likely audiences for Swedish speakers of English are (a) other Swedish speakers and (b) non-native speakers of English who do not have Swedish as a native language. In order for teachers to successfully teach pronunciation, teachers need to have a certain amount of expertise in English phonetics and pronunciation teaching methodology. This need should, thus, be addressed effectively and purposefully in English language teacher education programs in Sweden. In Sweden, English is taught in the lower grades by generalist teachers (i.e. teachers who teach many different subjects) and in the upper grades by specialist teachers (i.e. teachers who specialize in one or two subjects). Although specialist teachers are often thought to be better prepared to teach specialized knowledge such as English pronunciation, generalist teachers could also be taught to some extent the following topics related to English pronunciation so that they can be better equipped to teach English pronunciation in the lower grades: (1) English phonetics, including both segmental and suprasegmental features. (2) Some crucial differences in pronunciation features between English and Swedish and other commonly spoken languages in Sweden (particularly those affecting comprehension). (3) Pedagogical principles guiding instruction (e.g. intelligibility principles). (4) Appropriate contemporary methodology for teaching pronunciation (e.g. task-based instruction). Note that some of these topics have the potential to inform other aspects of English teaching as well. For example, the teaching of spelling and vocabulary is also likely to benefit from an understanding of varieties and audiences, while appropriate language-teaching methodology can inform all aspects of English teaching. There are signs that teacher education in Sweden is changing. At two Swedish universities I am aware of, preservice and some inservice teachers are learning about English phonetics and concepts like ELF and intelligibility in teacher education courses. Some preservice teachers also take pronunciation workshops that showcase well-designed pronunciation teaching materials and instruct them on how to adjust their own pronunciation for different audiences. Many students who participated in these courses and workshops have told me that they had never thought about pronunciation teaching before, likely because they did not experience it as learners themselves.

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Conclusion

This chapter has focused specifically on the Swedish context – i.e. a context that does not fit neatly into either the ESL or the EFL category. However, the granular approach to pronunciation teaching that I advocate is adaptable to any context. In any situation, pronunciation learners can pay attention to whom they are talking to and adjust their pronunciation to that kind of listener. Although those in ESL contexts will likely only want to worry about native-speaking listeners, many may find that they are also using English with native speakers of their same language, as Swedes often do, or with people from other language backgrounds. Their counterparts in EFL contexts, on the other hand, will likely benefit from minimizing the goal of sounding like a native speaker and, instead, focusing on features that will make them intelligible in ELF situations. In any case, appropriate pronunciation adjustments can facilitate communication, which I see as the goal of language teaching and learning. References Berg, E.C., Hult, F.M. and King, K.A. (2001) Shaping the climate for language shift? English in Sweden’s elite domains. World Englishes 20 (3), 305–319. Beers Fägersten, K. (2012) The use of English in the Swedish-language comic strip Rocky. In F. Bramlett (ed.) Linguistics and the Study of Comics (pp. 239–263). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Beers Fägersten, K. (2017) English-language swearing as humor in Swedish comic strips. Journal of Pragmatics 121, 175–187. Bolton, K. and Kuteeva, M. (2012) English as an academic language at a Swedish university: Parallel language use and the ‘threat’ of English. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 33 (5), 429–447. Cunningham, U. (2009) Models and targets for the pronunciation of English in Vietnam and Sweden. Research in Language 7, 113–128. Cunningham, U. (2015) Teaching English pronunciation online to Swedish primary-school teachers. In E. Waniek-Klimczak and M. Pawlak (eds) Teaching and Researching the Pronunciation of English (pp. 63–76). Heidelberg: Springer. Dauer, R.M. (2005) The Lingua Franca Core: A new model for pronunciation instruction? TESOL Quarterly 39 (3), 543–550. Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (2015) Pronunciation Fundamentals: Evidence-Based Perspectives for L2 Teaching and Research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Education First (EF) (2020) EF English Proficiency Index: Sweden. See https://ef.se/epi/ regions/europe/sweden/ (accessed 3 August 2020). Eklund, R. and Lindström, A. (1998) How to handle “foreign” sounds in Swedish textto-speech conversion: Approaching the ‘xenophone’ problem. In R.H. Mannell and J. Robert-Ribes (eds) Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Spoken Language Processing (ICSLP 98), November 30–December 5 (Vol. 7, pp. 2831–2834). Sydney, Australia. Eriksson, L.E. (2019) Teachers’ and students’ attitudes and perceptions toward varieties of English in Swedish upper secondary school. In ASLA-symposiet i Karlstad, April 12–13, 2018 (Vol. 27, pp. 207–233). Karlstad: Karlstads universitet. Ferguson, C.A. (1994) Note on Swedish English. World Englishes 13 (3), 419–424.

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Forsberg, J., Mohr, S. and Jansen, S. (2019) “The goal is to enable students to communicate”: Communicative competence and target varieties in TEFL practices in Sweden and Germany. European Journal of Applied Linguistics 7 (1), 31–60. Haslam, M. and Zetterholm, E. (2016a) The importance of aspirated initial stops in English as a Lingua Franca. In J. Levis, H. Le., I. Lucic, E. Simpson and S. Vo (eds) Proceedings of the 7th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Dallas, TX, October 15–17, 2015 (pp. 66–75). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Haslam, M. and Zetterholm, E. (2016b) Vowel length and perception of English as a Lingua Franca. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 139, 2162. Haslam, M. and Zetterholm, E. (2019) The role of consonant clusters in English as a Lingua Franca intelligibility. In J. Levis, C. Nagle and E. Todey (eds) Proceedings of the 10th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, IA, September 6–8, 2018 (pp. 276–284). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Henry, A. (2016) Swedish or English? Migrants’ experiences of the exchangeability of language resources. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 19 (4), 442–463. Hult, F.M. (2003) English on the streets of Sweden: An ecolinguistic view of two cities and a language policy. Working Papers in Educational Linguistics (WPEL) 19 (1). See https://repository.upenn.edu/wpel/vol19/iss1/3 Hult, F.M. (2012) English as a transcultural language in Swedish policy and practice. TESOL Quarterly 46 (2), 230–257. Jenkins, J. (2000) The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jeong, H. (2019) Repositioning phonetics in teacher education in Sweden from a global ELF perspective: Pre-service teachers’ perspectives. In M. Heldner (ed.) Proceedings from Fonetik 2019, June 10–12, 2019 (pp. 37–42). Stockholm, Sweden. Kuteeva, M. (2014) The parallel language use of Swedish and English: The question of ‘nativeness’ in university policies and practices. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 35 (4), 332–344. Kuteeva, M. (2018) Researching English-medium instruction at Swedish universities: Developments over the past decade. In K. Murata (ed.) English-Medium Instruction From an English as a Lingua Franca Perspective: Exploring the Higher Education Context (pp. 46–63). Abingdon: Routledge. Kuteeva, M., Hynninen, N. and Haslam, M. (2015) ‘It’s so natural to mix languages’: Attitudes towards English-Medium Instruction in Sweden. In A. Linn, N. Bermel, G. Ferguson and C. Hadjidemetriou (eds) Attitudes Towards English in Europe (pp. 193–212). Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter Mouton. Levis, J.M. (2005) Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL Quarterly 39 (3), 369–377. Lindström, A. and Eklund, R. (1999) Xenophones revisited: Linguistic and other underlying factors affecting the pronunciation of foreign items in Swedish. In J.J. Ohala, Y. Hasegawa, M. Ohala, D. Granville and A.C. Bailey (eds) Proceedings of the XIVth International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 1999), August 1–7 (Vol. 3, pp. 2227–2230). San Francisco, California. McCrocklin, S. (2012) The role of word stress in English as a Lingua Franca. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, IA, September 16–17, 2011 (pp. 249–256). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Melander, B. (2000) Swedish, English and the European Union. Current Issues in Language and Society 7 (1), 13–31. Mobärg, M. (2002) RP or GA? On Swedish school students’ choice of English pronunciation. In M. Modiano (ed.) Studies in Mid-Atlantic English (pp. 119–131). Gävle: Högskolan i Gävle.

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Modiano, M. (2009) EIL, native-speakerism and the failure of European ELT. In F. Sharifian (ed.) English as an International Language: Perspectives and Pedagogical Issues (pp. 58–77). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Mohr, S., Jansen, S. and Forsberg, J. (2021) European English in the EFL classroom? Teacher attitudes towards target varieties of English in Sweden and Germany. English Today 37 (2), 85–91. Nilsson, D.L.F. and Nilsson, A.P. (2010) Pronunciation Contrasts in English. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc. Pickering, L. (2006) Current research on intelligibility in English as a Lingua Franca. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26, 219–233. Remiszewski, M. (2008) Lingua Franca Core: Picture incomplete. In K. DziubalskaKołaczyk and J. Przedlacka (eds) English Pronunciation Models: A Changing Scene (2nd edn) (pp. 293–308). Bern: Peter Lang. Ringbom, H. (1980) On the distinction between second-language acquisition and foreignlanguage learning. Papers in Language Learning and Acquisition/AFinLA Yearbook 1980 (Suomen soveltavan kielitieteen yhdistyksen julkaisuja) 28, 37–44. Sharp, H. (2007) Swedish-English language mixing. World Englishes 26 (2), 224–240. Söderlund, M. and Modiano, M. (2002) Swedish upper secondary school students and their attitudes towards AmE, BrE, and Mid-Atlantic English. In M. Modiano (ed.) Studies in Mid-Atlantic English (pp. 147–171). Gävle: Högskolan i Gävle. Thir, V. (2020) International intelligibility revisited: L2 realizations of NURSE and TRAP and functional load. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation 6 (3), 458–482. Thorén, B. (2007) Swedish accent – Duration of post-vocalic consonants in native Swedes speaking English and German. In J. Trouvain and W.J. Barry (eds) Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2007), August 6–10 (pp. 1693–1696, Saarbrücken, Germany. Ugarte Olea, M.S.A. (2019) The Lingua Franca Core: A plausible option? How 26 (2), 75–87. Westergren Axelsson, M. (2002) “Refined” or “relaxed” English pronunciation: Usage and attitudes among Swedish university students. In M. Modiano (ed.) Studies in Mid-Atlantic English (pp. 132–146). Gävle: Högskolan i Gävle.

Part 3 Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

7 Improving the Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules Veronica G. Sardegna and Wayne B. Dickerson

Introduction

Native speakers of English use stress to segment continuous speech (Cutler & Norris, 1988) and identify individual words that differ prosodically (Cutler, 2012, 2015), such as in analyzer, analysis and analytic (­four-syllable words that start with ‘ana’, but the major stress falls on the first, second and third syllable, respectively). Stressed syllables in English tend to be longer, louder and higher pitched than unstressed syllables, although ‘not every stressed syllable has all three characteristics’ (Derwing & Munro, 2015: 59). When the main stress is not assigned to the correct syllable, an unexpected rhythm is created which may obscure the meaning of the word (Benrabah, 1997; Field, 2005). Also, when the misplacement leads to a vowel quality change (e.g. a full for a reduced vowel), it affects listeners’ ability to recognize the word (Cutler, 2012, 2015; Cutler et al., 1997). While unexpected placements of word stress may not entirely hinder intelligibility at the word level, they are likely to compromise intelligibility at the discourse level due to the extended processing time required to identify mis-stressed words in a stream of speech and then make discourse connections (e.g. identify contrasts, new vs. old information) (Hahn, 2004). For these reasons, it has been argued that word stress is critical for intelligibility and comprehensibility and that learners of English would benefit from instruction on how to stress polysyllabic words (Levis, 2018), especially if their jobs depend on clear communication skills (Ghosh & Levis, 2021). This chapter reviews research supporting instruction on word stress, identifies word-stress rules and approaches to teaching word stress, and 81

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reports on a study that tested the efficacy of the Covert Rehearsal Model (CRM) (Dickerson, 2013, 2015) – a strategy-based pronunciation instruction (PI) model that empowers learners with orthographic rules and Pronunciation Learning Strategies (PLS). The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of the findings. Background Research supporting instruction on English word stress

English word stress is important for spoken word recognition (Cutler, 2012, 2015; Cutler et al., 1997). Research evidence suggests that, when faced with a word that is hard to understand, native and non-native English listeners rely heavily on word stress. For example, Zielinski (2008) cut out segments that contained word-stress errors from non-native speakers’ presentations and then asked non-native speakers to transcribe those segments. She discovered that when the word was difficult to understand, the transcribers tried to use word stress and the number of syllables to identify the word. Benrabah (1997) found that British English listeners made sense of mis-stressed words in sentences uttered by speakers from Algeria, Nigeria and India by writing words that matched the stress patterns they heard. This finding led the researcher to conclude that wordstress errors can bring about sentence comprehension errors. Another study (Field, 2005) revealed that a shift in stress, without an accompanying vowel shift, lowered the speakers’ intelligibility of English words by almost 20% for both native and non-native listeners. The study argued that the greater processing demands that result from loss of intelligibility in connected speech might limit the listener’s ability to perform well in conversation. Misplacement of word stress can also affect how comprehensible the speaker is perceived to be even if the mis-stressed word is recognized by the listener. An impressionistic examination of 60 SPEAK Test tapes containing speech samples from speakers of 11 different first languages (L1s) revealed that the speakers’ errors in word stress were highly negatively correlated with both their pronunciation and global speaking ability scores (Anderson-Hsieh et  al., 1992). In a study that sought to identify language features for an oral language assessment scale for teachers, Isaacs and Trofimovich (2012) found that five phonological features (in addition to other linguistic features) in L1 French speakers significantly correlated to L1 English listeners’ comprehensibility ratings but decided to include only word stress in the scale because of its high correlation and teachers’ perception of its importance (i.e. for ecological validity). Just as native and non-native listeners may find non-native speech with word-stress errors difficult to understand, non-native (L2) English

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speakers may struggle to identify the beginning and end of words (Lecumberri et al., 2010) and phonemic contrasts (Broersma & Cutler, 2008) in native speaker discourse. Also, without accent marks in standard writing to guide stress-placement predictions, learners of English are left to figure out by themselves how to stress English words. Undoubtedly, English learners could benefit from instruction on how to perceive and produce word-stress patterns as well as on how to predict the stress in a word before they have to utter it. Word-stress rules

Scholars have developed word-stress rules and guides to aid learners as they attempt to master English word stress in polysyllabic words. Most have looked at suffixes (right to left) and devised prediction rules, such as stress the ‘o’ in words ending in -ology (e.g. biólogy) (Grant, 2017), or ‘words ending in -ic, -ity, and -ion carry stress on the syllable immediately before the suffix, as in eléctric, electrícity, permíssion’ (Murphy, 2017: 50). The seven word-stress rules proposed by Murphy (2017: 50) include prefixes and suffixes, but as he states, ‘there are many more stress rules and patterns’ to teach. Instead, he suggests learners use a numeric system for identifying word-stress patterns so that they can apply the rhythm of a familiar word to a new word (Murphy & Kandil, 2004). The system consists in assigning numbers to each new word students learn, the first being the number of syllables, the second the number of the syllable that received the major stress (as indicated by the dictionary), e.g. 3-2 for the word ‘commitment’. While useful for production, this system does not aid learners with their predictions. The most comprehensive word-stress prediction system to date was developed by Dickerson (2004). It identifies four stress rules that guide the placement of stress on ‘thousands of words with great accuracy’ (Dickerson, 2015: 495). The rules contain relevant information regarding suffixes and prefixes and direct students’ attention to two main syllables in the word. As Dickerson (2004, 2015) explains, the stress on English polysyllabic words goes on either the Key Syllable (Key) or the Left Syllable (Left). The Key can be found immediately left of an ending and the Left can be found immediately left of the Key. Using simple spelling rules, a learner can identify these syllables so that each begins with the spelling for a single vowel sound and includes all the following consonant letters. Markings based on predictions aid learners’ oral production: Left = italicized syllable; Key = underlined syllable; endings denoted with an open parenthesis (e.g. in émul(ating, the stress falls on the Left; in incidént(al, the stress falls on the Key). The task of the learner is to identify the ending and Key and Left syllables in a word, and then stress the word on either syllable based on the stress rule that applies to the word

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category. The four word-stress rules are as follows (for exceptions, see Hahn & Dickerson, 1999): (1) Key Stress Rule (KSR) (a) KSR applies to words ending in -ia, -io, -iu, -ienC [C = Consonant]. (b) Find Key  Stress Key: méd(ia, rád(io, gymnás(ium, obéd(ient. (c) After the -iV [V = Vowel] ending, there may be - an additional letter: reméd(ial, invént(ion, gén(ius, convén(ience. - other endings, such as -ly, -ment, -s, -ed, -er, -ing, -able, -ary: execút(ioner, imméd(iately, fásh(ionable. (2) V/VC Stress Rule (VSR) (a) VSR applies to adjectives ending in -al, -ous; adjectives/nouns ending in -ant, -ance, -ancy, -ent, -ence, -ency; and words ending in ic (ic is the Key syllable). (b) Find Key  Stress Left if Key is spelled with V or VC: innócu(ous, cúltur(al, magnétic, dómin(ance, intéllig(ent, contéxtu(al. Otherwise  Stress Key: assíst(ant, accépt(ance, redún(ancy, emérg(ency (also in words with no Left: fóc(al). (3) Left Stress Rule (LSR) (a) LSR applies to words of three or more syllables ending in -y, -ate, -ated, -ator, -ating, -acy, -acies. (b) Find Key and Left  Stress Left: proxímit(y, exémplif(y, déleg(acy, appróxim(ated, illúmin(ate. (4) Prefix Stress Rule (PSR) (a) PSR applies to words ending in -ary, -ery, -ory, -ive, -ure, -ative, -atory, -ature. (b) Find Key and Left  Stress Key if Left contains a prefix or part of a prefix1: delív(ery, perspéct(ive, objéct(ive, exclús(ive (de-, per-, ob-, and ex- are prefixes). Otherwise  Stress Left: commúnic(ative, líter(ature, inquísit(ive, mónast(ery. This system allows students to make spelling-sound predictions. After assigning the major stress to one syllable, learners can predict stressed and unstressed vowels and vowels left of the major stress by applying ­orthographic vowel quality patterns (see Dickerson, 2004, 2015). Given that L1 English listeners pay attention first to vowel quality when evaluating whether a syllable is stressed (Cutler, 2015), learning which vowel to produce is as important as knowing which syllable receives the stress. The Covert Rehearsal Model (CRM)

To guide learners’ attention to form during their private practice, Dickerson (2013) proposed CRM, a strategy-based self-directed process

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that consists of a recursive sequence of steps that students can follow to improve any pronunciation target. The basic premise of CRM is that students work on the accuracy of their speech in private, at their own pace, using pedagogical rules, PLS, resources, speech models, and feedback provided by the teacher. The following identifies the six steps and sample PLS for improving word stress (see also Sardegna, 2022): (1) Privacy: Find a place to work in private. (2) Oral Practice: Predict which syllable receives the major stress in a word by retrieving and applying stored information on how to stress polysyllabic words. Then, read the word aloud, focusing on producing the major stress on the predicted syllable. As you read aloud, use different production strategies (e.g. practice word-stress alternations using rubber bands). (3) Speech Monitoring: Apply visual guides (such as using stress marks) to guide your pronunciation of words, and evaluate the accuracy and fluency of your production as you read the word aloud. (4) Comparing the Performance With Other Models: Repeat the word aloud right after hearing it on the TV, radio, online dictionaries, recorded speeches, etc., and then compare your production to those models. (5) Changing the Performance to Match the Models: After consulting speech models, make all the necessary changes (e.g. repair utterances or predictions) to match the models. (6) Practicing the Changed Performance Aloud Until Fluent: Practice the changes by reading aloud the word many times first in isolation and then in a phrase until you are satisfied with your word-stress placement. Students can apply word-stress rules and use a wide range of PLS simultaneously or in a sequence to predict, produce and listen for one or more targets while they practice covertly. For example, they could engage in the process to identify and stress the appropriate syllable. Then, they could engage in the process again to improve the pronunciation of the stressed vowel or the pronunciation of the word within a phrase. The effects of explicit PI on English word stress

In the last decade, an increasing number of studies has examined the effects of PI on pronunciation improvement (Lee et al., 2015; Thomson & Derwing, 2015). With respect to English word stress, most assessed improvement with word stress, together with other suprasegmental features (Derwing et al., 1998; Sardegna, 2012), or with sounds of commonly mispronounced English words (Fouz-González, 2017; Kartal & KorucuKis, 2020). These studies provide evidence of the positive effects of explicit PI on suprasegmentals and the pronunciation of academic words; yet, they cannot make specific claims regarding improvement with word stress.

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The few studies that independently analyzed improvement with English word stress offer contradictory evidence. On the one hand, Hassanzadeh and Salehizadeh (2020) showed no lasting improvements (30 days after the posttest) for 129 L1 Farsi students randomly assigned to four groups (control, output, input-enhancement and feedback). On the other hand, three studies suggest that word-stress patterns are teachable and learnable, and transferable to new words. Tanner and Landon (2009) found that 75 English as a Second Language (ESL) students improved their perception and production of English word stress after receiving self-directed computer-assisted practice using Cue Pronunciation Readings. Sardegna (2009) established that 39 ESL students significantly improved their ability to stress polysyllabic words after they received PI (four months) and practiced in covert rehearsal with the help of orthographic rules. The students also maintained significant long-term progress (from one to almost three years after instruction) regardless of their initial accuracy levels with word stress. Sardegna (2022) compared progress with word stress between an experimental group (38 ESL graduate students) and a control group (15 ESL graduate students) and found that the former outperformed the latter after receiving explicit PI on Dickerson’s (2004) word stress rules and practicing them in covert rehearsal. While the control group did not improve, the experimental group improved and maintained significant long-term progress (d = 0.99, large effect size). Duration and focus of treatment could explain the contradictory findings. In Hassanzadeh and Salehizadeh (2020), the treatments, including the pre- and post-tests, lasted 105 minutes and seemed more focused on short-term cognitive skills (e.g. memorization). In contrast, Tanner and Landon (2009) and Sardegna (2009, 2022) reported findings from semester-long interventions involving explicit PI, awareness-raising activities and frequent and guided practice on form using PLS. More research is needed to corroborate the findings as well as to assess the learnability of specific orthographic word-stress rules. For pedagogical guidelines for such investigations, see Chapter 3. These goals motivated us to conduct the following study. The Study

This study answers Hayes-Harb and Barrios’ (2021) call for more classroom-based research on the value of using orthography in second language acquisition. Specifically, it investigates the short- and long-term efficacy of one classroom-based approach (CRM) for improving one target feature (English word stress) in polysyllabic words stressed by three of the rules proposed by Dickerson (2004): KSR, VSR and LSR. The following research questions guided the study: (1) To what extent did students continue to practice in covert rehearsal and use PLS for improving their ability to stress English polysyllabic words after the course ended?

Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules  87

(2) What is the short- and long-term efficacy of CRM for improving English word stress by stress rule (KSR, VSR and LSR), and how does it compare to a control group? Methodology Participants

Purposive sampling was used to recruit two groups of ESL students at a midwestern American university: an Intervention Group (IG) and a Control Group (CG). IG participants took a four-month ESL pronunciation course at the beginning of the study. They were 12 graduate students (4 females; 8 males; aged 22–40) pursuing a range of graduate degrees in different areas, including engineering, economics, computer science, chemistry, physics, crop sciences and human resources. Their native languages were Chinese (6), Vietnamese (1), Korean (1), Turkish (1), Portuguese (1), Japanese (1) and Spanish (1). CG participants (no PI group) were 12 graduate students (8 females; 4 males; aged 22–35) pursuing a range of graduate degrees in different areas, including engineering, economics, mathematics, physics, chemistry, psychology and informatics. Their native languages were Chinese (7), Turkish (2), Korean (2) and Thai (1). The two groups did not differ significantly with respect to their initial read-aloud word-stress scores: t = −.537; p = .597; Diff = −3.07; d = .22 (small effect size). No significant difference in initial scores between IG and CG suggests that the purposive sampling strategy did not undermine the comparability of the two groups. Intervention

The course instructed students on a variety of pronunciation rules and PLS to improve a wide range of pronunciation features, including segmentals (vowel and consonant sounds) and suprasegmentals (word stress, phrase stress, intonation and linking). Hence, word stress was just one of the instructional targets, which focused on teaching explicitly Dickerson’s (2004) orthographic word-stress rules: KSR, VSR, LSR and PSR. The students received written and oral feedback during regular classroom activities (one hour, three times a week, for one semester) and in six 30-minute private meetings with the instructor. Both the training and feedback focused on improving students’ most problematic pronunciation features as identified through a test administered at the beginning of the course. Out-of-class assignments prompted students to practice sound-, word-, phrase- and discourse-level predictions based on pedagogical rules and during periods of covert rehearsal (i.e. following CRM). In addition to completing discrimination, read-aloud and recording exercises, students were expected to work on improving the pronunciation of 80 self-selected academic words.

88  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Data collection and analysis

Accuracy test scores with respect to participants’ ability to stress words were obtained from a 15-minute read-aloud test taken by IG and CG participants three times (T1, T2, and T3) during a period of 13 months (T1–T2 = 4 months; T2–T3 = 9 months). The test assessed pronunciation accuracy with the segmental and suprasegmental features taught during the course. It consisted of a long passage, 6 dialogs and a list of 22 words. The 22-word list was used to assess accuracy in wordstress placement. Hence, in this study, we are reporting only findings from the word list. The list contained seven words stressed by KSR, seven words stressed by VSR, five words stressed by LSR and three words stressed by PSR (PSR words were used as distractors). Using the same test at all testing times allowed for an objective measure of participants’ progress over time. The participants had no way of knowing which words/ phrases were used to assess a particular pronunciation feature, such as word stress. For example, the word list could also be assessing sounds and linking within words. To avoid rater bias due to the complexity of observations rated at the same time, a finite number of target behaviors were clearly identified on a rating template. Once a participant finished reading the materials aloud, the percentage of incorrect verbal responses marked on the rater’s template was calculated by dividing the frequency of ticked responses by the total number of targeted instances. This calculation was used to obtain accuracy scores for KSR, VSR and LSR words, and overall (a combined score for the 19 words stressed by KSR, VSR and LSR). Improvement was calculated against a 100% base. For example, participants’ short-term improvement was calculated by subtracting their T1 mean percentage scores from their T2 mean percentage scores, and their long-term improvement was calculated by subtracting their T1 mean percentage scores from their T3 mean percentage scores. To ensure rater consistency across time, the same primary rater assessed all participants’ recordings. To increase score reliability, a randomly selected 45% of the recordings was assessed by a second rater, who underwent similar training and calibration procedures as the first rater. A reliability analysis revealed high inter-rater reliability (ICC = .967). To answer research question #1 and determine whether and to what extent IG participants continued practicing word-stress patterns after the course ended, their responses to a Likert-scale questionnaire were analyzed. The questionnaire prompted students to indicate how much they had practiced 15 strategies for improving English word stress (1 = A Little; 5 = A Lot) from T2 to T3. Establishing a correlation between PLS use and improvement would not be appropriate given that (a) it is not one strategy but strategy combinations and clusters that contribute to overall improvement (Sardegna, 2012), and (b) students had different needs (some needed

Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules  89

and had more room to improve than others). Yet, information about students’ overall PLS use (amount and type) after the course ended could shed light on their strategy uses and the impact of the model on students’ self-regulated practice choices. To answer research question #2, and compare IG’s and CG’s short- and long-term progress with English word stress, a series of repeated measures ANOVAs were computed with follow-up pairwise comparisons using participants’ combined scores for English word stress. To explore the two groups’ differences in improvement with words stressed by KSR, VSR and LSR across time, Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were computed because the distribution of the scores by stress rule was not normal (Field, 2013). Results Use of PLS for improving English word stress

Table 7.1 displays IG participants’ use of PLS for improving their English word stress after the course ended (from T2 to T3). The results show a moderate use of a variety of PLS (M = 2.99, Mdn = 3) with a preference for perception strategies (Mdn = 4) over prediction and production strategies (both Mdn = 3). Improvement with English word stress

The results of a two-way repeated measures ANOVA indicated significant main effects of time (T1, T2 and T3), F(2, 44) = 36.328, p < .001, partial η2 = .623, and a significant interaction of time and condition (IG vs. CG), F(2, 44) = 20.462, p < .001, partial η2 = .482. Hence, 48% of the variance in students’ accuracy scores was related to changes in both time and condition. Table 7.2 displays the read-aloud accuracy scores (means and standard deviations) in English word stress across time by group. As Table 7.2 and Figure 7.1 show, the two groups differed in their progress trajectories, with IG outperforming CG at T2 and T3. To ascertain the practical significance of the progress made by each group across time, two one-way repeated measures ANOVAs were computed – i.e. one for each group – and then follow-up pairwise comparisons were made with respect to English word stress (combined scores), and the scores for each of the word-stress rules under study (KSR, VSR, and LSR) at T1, T2 and T3. The first one-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant differences for CG across testing times, F(2, 22) = 2.824, p = .081; partial η2 of .20, suggesting that participants’ 13-month exposure to English speech was not large enough to make changes of practical significance in their production of English word stress (see Figure 7.1). In contrast, the second one-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant differences in mean scores

90  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Table 7.1  Use of PLS from T2 to T3 PLS Prediction Strategies

Mean

Mdn

1. I look up the stress of words in a dictionary before I pronounce them.

2.67

3.00

2. I apply orthographic pronunciation rules to decide which syllable receives the major stress.

2.83

3.00

3. I apply vowel and consonant quality patterns to spelled words.

2.67

3.00

4. I decide which word in the phrase carries the primary stress before I read the phrase.

2.92

3.00

5. I divide my sentences into message units before I read them.

3.08

3.00

2.83

3.00

6. I correct the pronunciation of words in private.

3.08

3.00

7. I practice word-stress alternations following stress rules.

2.42

2.50

8. I read aloud newspapers, published articles, etc.

2.58

2.00

9. I repeat word/phrase level stresses after I hear them on the tv/radio/online.

2.67

2.50

10. I practice reading aloud with an audience in mind.

2.83

3.00

TOTAL

2.72

3.00

11.  I listen attentively to native speaker production.

3.83

4.00

12.  I listen to movies/TV programs/news broadcasts.

3.58

4.00

13. I listen to songs.

3.33

3.50

14.  I listen to the radio.

3.75

4.00

15. I sharpen my listening skills by listening for the primary stress of the phrase.

2.58

2.50

TOTAL

3.42

4.00

2.99

3.00

TOTAL Production Strategies

Perception Strategies

TOTAL

Table 7.2  Read-aloud mean accuracy scores in English word stress across time by group Group

N

T1 M (SD)

T2 M (SD)

T3 M (SD)

IG

12

59.65 (10.61)

84.21 (14.37)

83.77 (9.38)

CG

12

62.72 (16.71)

65.35 (16.86)

67.10 (19.32)

for word stress across testing times for IG, F(2, 22) = 36.560, p < .001, partial η2 of .769. Planned contrasts indicated that T2 scores were significantly higher than T1 scores, F(1,11) = 36.542, p < .001, Diff = −24.56, partial η2 = .769, and this difference represented a large effect size, d = 1.75, suggesting a shortterm (four months) progress of practical significance for the group receiving instruction under CRM. Also, despite a decrease in performance after the

Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules  91

Figure 7.1  Progress with read-aloud English word stress across time by group

course, T2–T3 F(1,11) = .028, p = .870, Diff = .44, d = .05, this decrease was not significant, and T3 scores were still significantly higher than T1 scores, t(11) = −8038, p < .001. The difference between T1 and T3 scores (Diff = −24.12) represented a large effect size, d = 2.32, and suggested a longterm (13 months) progress of practical significance. Improvement with KSR, VSR and LSR Follow-up analyses using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were computed for each of the three stress rules (T1 vs. T2, T2 vs. T3, and T1 vs. T3) to explore IG participants’ differences in improvement with words stressed by KSR, VSR and LSR across time. Table 7.3 displays the means, standard deviations, medians and the results of the Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Following Rosenthal (1991), the effect size of the results (practical significance) was calculated by dividing the z value by the square root of the number of observations, where r > .50 = large effect. As Table 7.3 shows, there were significant differences for the three rules when T1 and T2 scores were compared (short-term progress) and when T1 and T3 scores were compared (long-term progress). As in all these cases r > .48, these differences represented moderate to large effect sizes, indicating that the students that received PI were able to maintain improvement of practical significance over time with words stressed by KSR, VSR and LSR, despite having no significant changes in improvement from T2 and T3 (i.e. after the course ended). Figure 7.2 shows IG participants’ read-aloud progress (Mean Accuracy Scores) across time by wordstress rule.

92  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Table 7.3  Means, standard deviations, medians and results of Wilcoxon signed-rank tests by word stress rule across time for IG participants (N = 12) Stress Rule

Ma (SD), Mdnb

Tests

T

KSR

T1: 69.05 (20.05), 71.43

T1 – T2

55

2.820

.005*

.58

T2: 94.05 (9.55), 100.00

T2 – T3

7

7.000

.414

1.43

T3: 91.67 (9.55), 92.86

T1 – T3

45

2.680

.007*

.55

T1: 66.67 (16.50), 64.29

T1 – T2

36

2.549

.011*

.52

T2: 83.33 (13.39), 85.71

T2 – T3

−.431

.666

.09

T3: 82.14 (13.79), 85.71

T1 – T3

42

2.354

.019*

.48

T1: 36.67 (20.60), 40.00

T1 – T2

64

2.790

.005*

.57

T2: 71.67 (32.43), 80.00

T2 – T3

6

.378

.705

.08

T3: 75.00 (25.76), 80.00

T1 – T3

1

−2.987

.003*

.61

VSR

LSR

Z score

8.5

p

Effect Size (r)

* p < .05. There was a significant difference between the groups. aMean Accuracy Scores (%); bMedian Accuracy Scores (%)

Figure 7.2  IG participants’ read-aloud progress across time by word-stress rule (KSR, VSR and LSR); Mean Accuracy Scores (%)

To explore differences in improvement with each rule for CG, followup analyses using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were also computed for each of the three stress rules (T1 vs. T2, T2 vs. T3, and T1 vs. T3). The results revealed no significant differences for all comparisons except for T2 vs. T3 and T1 vs. T3 KSR words (high and moderate effect sizes, respectively), and T1 vs. T2 LSR words (moderate effect size) (see Table 7.4). Figure 7.3 shows CG participants’ read-aloud progress (score means) across time by word stress rule. Discussion The main goal of this study was to explore the effectiveness of CRM in improving students’ ability to read aloud English polysyllabic words with accurate stress placement. IG received explicit PI, which raised their

Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules  93

Table 7.4  Means, standard deviations, medians and results of Wilcoxon signed-rank tests by word stress rule across time for CG participants (N = 12) Stress Rule

Ma (SD), Mdnb

Tests

KSR

T1: 80.95 (16.50), 85.71

T1 – T2

3

2.646

.450

.54

T2: 78.57 (12.93), 85.71

T2 – T3

36

2.588

.010*

.53

T3: 88.09 (14.71), 88.09

T1 – T3

21

2.251

.024*

.46

T1: 64.29 (19.74), 71.43

T1 – T2

11.5

.213

.832

.04

T2: 64.29 (21.53) 57.15

T2 – T3

6.5

−.272

.785

.06

T3: 64.29 (22.38), 57.15

T1 – T3

10.5

.000

1.000

.00

T1: 35.00 (22.76), 40.00

T1 – T2

21

2.333

.020*

.48

T2: 48.33 (24.80), 50.00

T2 – T3

6

−1.000

.317

.20

T3: 41.67 (28.87), 40.00

T1 – T3

11

.966

.334

.20

VSR

LSR

Z score

T

p

Effect Size (r)

* p < .05. There was a significant difference between the groups. aMean Accuracy Scores (%); bMedian Accuracy Scores (%)

Figure 7.3  CG participants’ read-aloud progress across time by word-stress rule (KSR, VSR and LSR); Mean Accuracy Scores (%)

awareness of orthographic rules and PLS for use during self-directed focuson-form pronunciation learning via CRM. The results showed that IG significantly improved during the course (d = 1.75) and maintained progress of practical significance long-term (d = 2.32), while CG did not. This difference strongly suggests that declarative knowledge (knowledge of rules) cannot be learned implicitly and as quickly as when the learners’ awareness of the patterns is raised through explicit instruction. Also, for declarative knowledge to transfer into procedural knowledge (i.e. actually produce intelligible and appropriately stressed words), students need frequent and gradual formfocused oral practice. When compared to the insignificant improvement of short form-focused treatments (e.g. Hassanzadeh & Salehizadeh, 2020), the results of the current study provide strong support to the claim that

94  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

form-focused PI works, but its long-term success largely depends on students’ sustained and self-regulated oral practice efforts (Sardegna, 2009, 2012, 2022). In this sense, CRM is efficient because it supports and guides students’ self-regulated oral practice.

Maintenance of improvement may be the result of students’ continuous efforts, as IG participants reported moderate use of prediction (including the use of orthographic rules) and production PLS, and high use of perception PLS after the course ended. Evidently, the students saw the value and benefits of using PLS autonomously as they continued practicing their pronunciation even when they must have had competing academic tasks, and they were not required by a teacher, task or course to work on their pronunciation. Another interesting finding is that they reported a preference for perception PLS over production and prediction PLS. In the future, researchers might want to investigate the reasons behind students’ choices through surveys. A possible explanation might be related to the fact that students can listen to input anytime anywhere, which requires comparatively less cognitive effort than predicting and applying rules, and oral practice. This question certainly merits investigation. Follow-up analyses further revealed that IG outperformed CG across time with respect to each of the stress rules under study. Focus-on-form PI under CRM seems to accelerate learning regardless of the stress rule in question as IG participants improved their ability to stress KSR, VSR and LSR words significantly (moderate and high effect sizes) over time. The three rules are, therefore, teachable and learnable. CG also improved KSR words long-term and LSR words short-term; yet, the latter was not maintained long-term. CG’s initial scores may explain these results. Most CG participants had already developed high accuracy with KSR words (81%) by the time the study started (see Table 7.4). Their implicit phonological awareness of the rule may have assisted them as they tried to figure out how to stress other KSR words, reaching 88% accuracy (without explicit PI) by the end of the study. In contrast, their initial accuracy with LSR words was at 35%, which suggests that they had yet to figure out how this rule works. When compared to IG’s learning outcomes, it becomes apparent that the pedagogical approach accelerated learning for IG given that both groups started at a similar accuracy level with LSR words (35–37%), but only IG achieved long-term improvement with these words (reaching 75%). These findings offer valuable pedagogical and research implications. Pedagogical and Research Implications The findings have implications for the acquisition of word stress in instructed settings. This study provides insights into how English word-stress patterns can be taught and learned. It also shows that explicit learning is superior to implicit learning. Orthographic rules equip students with the

Pronunciation of English Polysyllabic Words Through Orthographic Word-Stress Rules  95

information they need to predict how to stress polysyllabic words, which then aids them in their practice efforts during covert rehearsal. Future research might investigate whether these positive learning outcomes extend to using word-stress patterns successfully in free speech.

The study also confirms that word-stress rules seem to speed up the acquisition of English word stress. Of the three word-stress patterns, KSR seemed the easiest rule to master for both groups even with no instruction. Yet, given CG’s initial high accuracy with these words, further investigations are warranted to corroborate the findings. In contrast, LSR words seemed the most difficult to master for both groups (initial accuracy levels were below 40%). This rule is a good candidate for instruction as IG made significant long-term progress after PI (r = .61), while CG, which started at a similar low accuracy level, did not have any significant changes over time. VSR requires a two-step process: identifying the ending, and determining stress placement based on the spelling of a syllable. No improvement changes were observed with VSR for CG, possibly because of the extra demands VSR puts on cognitive processing before the target word is uttered. Yet, VSR words were improved through PI. Future investigations could examine whether read-aloud learning outcomes with VSR words after receiving PI are transferable to free speech, where cognitive processing demands are higher. Conclusion

This study bears theoretical and pedagogical significance. In terms of theoretical significance, the study extends previous findings (Sardegna, 2009, 2012, 2022) on the effectiveness of teaching and raising students’ awareness of English word-stress rules and engaging them in focuson-form practice during periods of covert rehearsal. By the end of the study, the students who took the pronunciation course (IG) made changes (short- and long-term improvement) of practical significance with respect to stressing English polysyllabic words in a read-aloud test, while CG participants did not make any significant improvements despite being immersed in the same ESL context. In terms of pedagogical significance, an analysis of progress with three word-stress rules (KSR, VSR and LSR) suggests that exposure to English is not enough to effect notable changes in word-stress production unless students already have high accuracy with a target word-stress pattern (e.g. with KSR words for CG participants). The findings also show that the rules speed up the acquisition of wordstress patterns in English, especially when the starting accuracy level is low (compare progress with LSR words in both groups). Potential avenues for future research include assessing whether the observed read-aloud improvements with words stressed by KSR, VSR and LSR extend to learners of different ages and proficiency levels, to the fourth stress rule (PSR) and to extemporaneous speech.

96  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Note (1) Regular prefixes include re-, de-, per-, pre-, pro-, ad-, ab-, ob-, sub-, in-, con-, com-, ex- and dis-. Alternative forms of regular prefixes include ac+c, af+f, ag+g, al+l, ap+p, at+t, as+s, oc+c, of+f, op+p, col+l, cor+r, dif+f, ef+f, il+l, im+p and suc+c (Hahn & Dickerson, 1999).

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8 Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies Magdalena Szyszka

Introduction

A long-running attempt at target language (TL) pronunciation l­ earning does not always bring satisfactory results. Not only may learners feel disillusioned by not achieving native-like pronunciation, but they may also encounter communication breakdowns resulting from inadequate articulations or perceptions of second language (L2) sounds. These constraints have triggered, on the one hand, debates on setting realistic goals in pronunciation learning and teaching (Celce-Murcia et al., 2010; Walker, 2010), and on the other hand, a search for potential remedies and guidelines to mitigate L2 pronunciation learners’ limitations. The former has shifted learning objectives from a native-like pronunciation to intelligible pronunciation, whereas the latter has provided a space for research exploring the role of pronunciation learning strategies (PLSs) in acquiring the sound systems of foreign languages. Although the positive role of language learning strategies in the process of L2 acquisition has already been acknowledged (e.g. Cohen & Macaro, 2007; Griffiths, 2013; Oxford, 2011, 2017), investigations of PLSs and their role in pronunciation acquisition are less common. So far, PLSs have been mostly researched from a more global perspective, which entails reports on types and classifications of PLSs, learners’ preferences concerning these strategies, and links between learners’ general PLS use, achievement and individual differences (ID) (Pawlak & Szyszka, 2018). However, the application of strategies depends largely on the specific learning task, including its goals, preparation and execution timing, and complexity (Oxford, 2017). One strategy may be very effective in the performance of one task, but not necessarily so in another. In consequence, only those learners who select the strategies appropriate for a task may become successful in their learning. This situated or context-related perspective in researching PLSs has been adopted in very few studies (e.g. Pawlak, 2018; 98

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Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2012; Szyszka, 2021). Nevertheless, this line of inquiry may reveal the detailed learning paths of successful pronunciation learners, for instance, in terms of their intelligibility, which, in turn, may lead to the design of evidence-based strategy instructions for situated pronunciation learning. This chapter contributes to this line of research and our understanding of PLSs in two important ways. First, it identifies intelligibility as a goal in L2 pronunciation learning and reviews findings from studies supporting this goal. Second, it reports the results of a study that explored the interplay between intelligibility in English speech and PLSs used in preparation for and during the completion of a read-aloud task. The main goal of the study was to examine differences in PLS use between a group of more intelligible and a group of less intelligible participants in order to determine the kinds of PLSs that set the two groups apart. Such information may be valuable for English language teachers looking to empower their students with effective PLSs. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the findings and pedagogical implications for successful ­self-regulated pronunciation learning. Background Intelligibility

L2 pronunciation learning is a long-term challenge. As such, realistic goals of achieving intelligible, rather than native-like pronunciation, have recently been promoted as pedagogical approaches (Celce-Murcia et al., 2010; Levis, 2005). Intelligibility is a two-way process depending on the extent of ‘the match between the intention of the speaker and the response of the listener to speech passed through the transmission system’ (Munro, 2017: 414). In this understanding, intelligible pronunciation is an outcome of the process of minimising the differences between the sound systems of native and TL speakers and listeners. In other words, the level of intelligibility depends on how ‘the phonological content of the speaker is recognised by the listener’ (Browne & Fulcher, 2017: 40). Intelligibility judgements must be seen, therefore, as related to speaker and listener factors (Munro et  al., 2006). Derwing and Munro (1997) reported that loss of intelligibility is not closely tied to the strength of the accent and that speakers’ first language (L1) features have mostly little effect on the intelligibility ratings of L2 listeners coming from a bilingual context. Yet, other studies have indicated L1 effects on L2 comprehensibility – a construct closely related to intelligibility – which has been defined as ‘a judgement of how easy or difficult an individual’s pronunciation is to understand’ (Derwing, 2010: 29). For example, Crowther et  al. (2014) found evidence suggesting that the L1 affected the L2 (English)

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comprehensibility of Mandarin and Hindi speakers. Specifically, in this study, segmental errors and lexicogrammar had an impact on the comprehensibility of Chinese and Hindi speakers, respectively. Moreover, apart from L1 background, other variables related to TL pronunciation features have been studied. For instance, lexical stress (Field, 2005), speech rate (Munro & Derwing, 2011), and some specific sounds (Riney et al., 2000) were found to affect L2 speakers’ intelligibility. Other studies have also shown that listeners’ experience and familiarity with the speaker’s L2 speech can impact their intelligibility ratings (Gass & Varonis, 1984; Munro et al., 2006). Generally, the evaluation of intelligibility has been through raters’ transcriptions of L2 speech (e.g. Derwing & Munro, 1997) and, less commonly, in response to the question How much of this speech did you understand? (e.g. Ballard & Winke, 2017). These L2 intelligibility studies have uncovered an array of mediating factors, such as, among others, L1 and L2 pronunciation features, and speaker’s/listener’s characteristics. It, thus, seems important to control for all or some of these factors in studies of L2 intelligibility to determine the role of a particular intervening variable, such as PLS deployment, on L2 speech intelligibility. The development of intelligible pronunciation usually puts a considerable strain on language learners as they need to activate ‘higher-order (analytical) and lower-order (motor) skills’ (Moyer, 2018: 96) to achieve satisfactory results. This activation refers to both speech perception and production. Firstly, L2 pronunciation learners should mobilise their analytical skills when being exposed to TL input in order to perceive and interpret the acoustic signal appropriately. In a foreign language learning (EFL) context, this is usually done gradually by an instructed and guided exposure to an L2 sound system, supported by a learner’s attentional resources directed towards L2 sound perception. However, according to Strange and Shafer (2008), when perceiving an acoustic signal, learners are able to interpret it properly only if they have established mental representations of the TL sound categories. Therefore, their analytical skills should be directed at identifying, comparing and contrasting L1 and L2 sound systems in order to build new mental representations. Secondly, speech production requires not only analytical but also motor skills. Even with an adequate perception and interpretation of an L2 input, a learner’s TL articulation is frequently imperfect. This can be partially explained by the articulatory habits of L1 that affect L2 phonetic and phonological patterns, and ‘when the patterns from the L1 and L2 do not match, […] a learner uses an L1 pattern to pronounce an L2 sentence’ (Zsiga, 2013: 459). In this case, motor skills need to be activated to minimise the mismatch. To a large extent, these analytical and motor skills can be sustained by PLSs, which may serve a supplementary role in developing intelligible pronunciation. However, little is known about how intelligible L2 speakers use PLSs to their advantage. This area of research merits further investigation.

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Pronunciation learning strategies

Pronunciation learning strategies have been defined broadly as steps that L2 learners take in order to enhance pronunciation learning (Peterson, 2000) or, more specifically, as goal-oriented processes manifested in the form of actions or thoughts, selected consciously from an available array with the aim of improving specific aspects of an L2 pronunciation (Szyszka, 2021). Following Oxford (2017: 141), these strategies can perform several functions or roles that ‘depend on the task, the physical context, and the learner’s internal context’. In relation to pronunciation, these functions can be translated into the following PLSs functions: (1) Memory function, focusing on remembering or recalling phonetic aspects of an L2, e.g. recalling a teacher’s pronunciation. (2) Cognitive function, entailing processing phonetic information, e.g. practicing individual sounds first in isolation and then in words. (3) Metacognitive function, referring to planning, organising, monitoring, and evaluating pronunciation learning, e.g. monitoring one’s pronunciation. (4) Social function, promoting cooperation with others, e.g. teaching L2 pronunciation aspects to others. (5) Affective function, aiming at regulating emotions in pronunciation learning, e.g. having a sense of humour about mispronunciations. For practical purposes, terms such as memory, cognitive, metacognitive, social and affective PLSs are used in this chapter to indicate strategies for performing these functions, respectively. PLSs, like general language learning strategies, are dynamic in their nature, which means that their choice and use largely depend on learners’ IDs and contextual factors. For instance, Griffiths (2013: 10) enumerates several ‘personal variables such as motivation, personality, style, age, gender, affect, beliefs, nationality, ethnicity, culture, anxiety, ­self-efficacy, self-esteem, proficiency level’ that determine the selection of general l­anguage learning strategies. In the area of PLSs, there is empirical evidence supporting their relationship with learning styles (Pawlak, 2018), gender (Pawlak, 2018; Yetkin, 2017), foreign language anxiety (Szyszka, 2017), self-efficacy and attitudes towards pronunciation learning (Sardegna, 2012; Sardegna et al., 2018) and proficiency levels (Hişmanoğlu, 2012). The contextual factors determining the use of PLS, however, have not yet been investigated to the same extent as ID factors. These refer to situations in which pronunciation learning takes place. A learner’s pronunciation strategy choice is grounded in whether an individual learns pronunciation aspects inside or outside the classroom, in an EFL or ESL environment, with or without instructed guidelines, focusing on a specific pronunciation learning task or learning pronunciation incidentally, in a

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face-to-face or remote learning mode. The choice of PLSs is also L1-dependent or even L1 culture-dependent. Pronunciation learners from Poland, for instance, unlike their peers from Spain, need a PLS for the effective articulation of English dental fricatives (e.g. Sobkowiak, 2008). However, whether they will select a strategy that helps them adjust their articulators to a new position or not may depend on the cultural norms that either accept or reject certain behaviours. Nevertheless, the interest of scholars investigating the use of PLSs in context has mostly focused on the role of instructed pronunciation strategy training and its effectiveness (Ingels, 2011; Sardegna, 2009, 2011, 2012; Sardegna & McGregor, 2013) as well as situated task-based pronunciation learning (Pawlak, 2018; Szyszka, 2014, 2021). Overall, these studies have shown that PLSs are learnable and promote English pronunciation improvement when used and combined effectively. Yet, more research is needed to ascertain the types of PLS used by learners in uninstructed conditions. Research on the interplay between PLSs and pronunciation achievement has generated inconsistent results. Non-significant correlation between the use of PLSs, measured globally, and pronunciation attainment, evaluated on the basis of either passage reading, semi-spontaneous or spontaneous speech, was reported by Berkil (2008) and Véliz Campos (2015). Rokoszewska (2012) observed a lack of relationship between PLSs and sound perception. However, she reported a weak but statistically significant positive correlation between PLS use and vowel and diphthong production. Interestingly, Eckstein (2007) found a positive relationship between pronunciation performance and only three PLSs: noticing pronunciation mistakes, adjusting facial muscles and asking others for help with pronunciation. In contrast, he found a negative correlation between attainment and two other PLSs: silent repetition and modulation of speech volume. In Baker-Smemoe and Haslam (2013), strategies of noticing, hypothesis formation and hypothesis testing were positively correlated with comprehensibility scores. Little, however, is known about the PLSs deployed by intelligible L2 speakers. To gain a better understanding of how PLSs are deployed by both more intelligible and less intelligible L2 pronunciation learners, I conducted a small-scale study that required two groups of learners of different intelligibility levels (high and low) to complete a read-aloud task. To minimise other potential L1, L2, and listener factors that could affect their L2 intelligibility while performing a task, the speakers had the same L1 background and comparable L2 proficiency, and performed the same task; and the listeners shared the same L1 and possessed a similar L2 teaching experience. The following two research questions guided my investigation: (1) What PLSs do L2 learners with high levels of intelligibility and L2 learners with low levels of intelligibility use during the preparation stage for a read-aloud task (i.e. before recording the text aloud)?

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(2) What PLSs do L2 learners with high levels of intelligibility and L2 learners with low levels of intelligibility use during the performance stage of a read-aloud task (i.e. while performing oral recordings of the text)? Methodology Participants

Participants were 35 Polish EFL learners majoring in English at a Polish university (see Table 8.1 for demographic characteristics). On average, they reported having spent 11.9 years of EFL study. Many had never visited an English-speaking country, and almost 70% reported no or rare contact with native English speakers. The 35 participants were evaluated for their intelligibility and two target groups were selected for further analysis based on their intelligibility scores: a high intelligibility (HI) group (N = 7) and a low intelligibility (LI) group (N = 7) (see Data ­collection and analysis). Table 8.1  Demographic characteristics of the sample (N = 35) Variable

N

Gender

Females Males

30 5

Age

19–20 21–23

29 6

Experience in EFL learning

Mean: Range:

11.9 3–16

Visits to English-speaking countries

one year or more three weeks two weeks one week Never

3 2 2 6 22

Contacts with English native speakers

Every day Often Occasional Very rare Never

2 3 6 17 7

Instruments

Two instruments were used for data collection. The first one was a text (total N of words = 147) written in English by the researcher to be used for pronunciation learning practice and the evaluation of the participants’ intelligibility. This text contains 52 words that Polish EFL learners often find difficult to pronounce. The selection of difficult words was

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based on Sobkowiak (2008), and it included words such as ‘word’, ‘says’, ‘comfortably’, ‘onions’ and ‘pears’. Here is an excerpt of the text: Let’s talk about English word pronunciation. Peter says that to communicate comfortably you need to speak clearly and pronounce words properly. I agree. But English words aren’t always easy to utter. For example, it’s hard to pronounce all the words in this sentence properly: It’s tough to mix onions and pears and put them in the oven. My blood pressure also rises because spelling in English is frequently completely different from what we hear. And this is just one basic rule…

The second instrument was a Post-Task Pronunciation Learning Strategies questionnaire with bio-data questions and open-ended items eliciting PLS use before and during the oral recording of a text. Apart from a question regarding the number of recordings made before submitting the final version of the sample, there were two questions focusing on PLS use: (1) What steps/actions/strategies (PLSs) for improving your pronunciation did you take before you recorded your text reading? (2) What were the PLSs (steps/actions) you used while recording your text reading? Data collection and analysis

Prior to data collection, the participants completed a general questionnaire on the frequency of PLS use in order to raise their awareness of an array of strategies and participated in a discussion on what PLSs are and how to use them for pronunciation learning. Subsequently, as a home assignment, they were asked to record themselves reading the text selected for intelligibility assessment. Participants had not seen, studied or practised any part of this text prior to this assignment and were expected to complete the task without the instructor’s guidance. The home assignment consisted of two parts: (a) prepare for the oral recording of the text (preparation stage), and (b) make one or more oral recording(s) of the text and select one to submit for assessment (performance stage). The researcher told participants that they could prepare for the read-aloud recording outside the classroom by reading it aloud or doing whatever they thought helped them prepare best. They could also record the text as many times as they wished in order to deliver the best possible recording of their speech. They were expected to save one recorded sample as an MP3 file and email it to the researcher within a week. The sample recordings, each approximately one minute long, were submitted immediately before a face-to-face meeting with the researcher, during which the participants completed the Post-Task Pronunciation Learning Strategies questionnaire, which took them approximately 30 minutes.

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The recorded speech samples of the participants were rated for their level of intelligibility with the help of an adopted Morley’s Speech Intelligibility Index (Rogerson-Revell, 2011), which follows a holistic, audio-perceptual approach. Two raters with similar EFL teaching experience, including pronunciation teaching, and the same non-native English linguistic background as the participants, assessed the 35 speech samples. Following Ballard and Winke (2017), the raters were instructed to mark the degree to which they understood the speech content on a nine-point Likert scale, from 1 – speech is basically unintelligible; only an occasional word or phrase can be recognised to 9 – speech is fully intelligible. The overall intelligibility level assigned to each participant was the mean value of the raters’ scores. The interclass correlation coefficient (ICC), the most common measure to assess both agreement and consistency between raters (Field, 2013), was calculated to establish inter-rater reliability. The value for single measure ICC reached .908 and the average measure ICC was .952, Cronbach α = .948. After scoring all the recordings, the raters identified two groups: participants with high levels of intelligibility (HI group) and participants with low levels of intelligibility (LI group). The first comprised seven participants who scored higher than 7.5 on the nine-point intelligibility scale. The second consisted also of seven individuals who scored lower than 6 on the same scale. None of the participants scored lower than 3, and three individuals received 9 – the top scale mark – from at least one of the raters. Based on participants’ self-reported bio data, the mean value regarding years of EFL learning for the HI group was 12.6 and for the LI group was 12.1. Of the seven highly intelligible speakers, one declared frequent interaction, one reported minimal interaction, and five reported either very rare or occasional interaction with native English speakers. Of the seven low intelligible speakers, two had never interacted, and five had either occasional or very rare interactions with native English speakers. Therefore, the HI and LI participants were comparable in terms of years of EFL learning and contact with L2 native speakers. Finally, HI and LI responses to the Post-Task Pronunciation Learning Strategies questionnaire were analysed qualitatively, during which instances of PLS use were coded according to one of the following PLS functions: cognitive, memory, metacognitive and affective (Oxford, 2017). The social function of PLSs could not be investigated because the task setup did not lend itself to engaging students in interaction with others. Results and Discussion During the preparation stage

Table 8.2 displays pronunciation learning strategies that HI and LI participants reported to have used before recording the speech

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Table 8.2  PLSs used by participants with high (HI) and low intelligibility (LI) during the preparation stage HI (N = 7)

LI (N = 7)

Function

PLS

Cognitive

 reading the text silently to become familiarised with it

1

 reading the text out loud

4

 reading the text out loud to understand it

6

 reading words from the text out loud

2

 finding problematic words

1

 checking the pronunciation of selected words

6

 checking the pronunciation/ transcription of selected words

5

 listening to the pronunciation of selected words

6

 listening to the pronunciation of selected words

3

 repeating difficult words after checking the oral dictionary entry

2

 focusing on the stress patterns and speech units in the text in order to read it more fluently

1

 focusing on weak forms and linking

1

 recalling situations when I pronounced these words in class

1

 memorising pronunciation of difficult words

1

 recalling how a teacher pronounced a word

1

Memory

Metacognitive

Affective

 using knowledge from phonetics classes

1

 writing the pronunciation of words above the text

1

 taking deep breaths to calm down

1

 calming nerves Total N

n

PLS

n

1 23

22

samples. The total number of PLSs revealed by both groups is similar (HI = 23 and LI = 22); however, the range of functions that those strategies performed differs between the two groups. Metacognitive and affective strategies were found only among HI individuals, who used knowledge from phonetics classes, annotated the text with transcriptions, and tried to lower their anxiety by, for instance, deep breathing. HI participants also applied a number of cognitive strategies, which focused not only on selected individual words but also on suprasegmental aspects. For example, they mentioned identifying stress patterns, speech units, weak forms and linking during this stage. In fact, the majority of the strategies they reported using were cognitive strategies (18 out of 23), which is not surprising given the cognitive load required to figure out the pronunciation of English words and phrases.

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To illustrate, in describing the specific actions she took during the preparation stage, Student 6 explained: I focused on the stress patterns and speech units in the text in order to read it more fluently.

Additionally, six out of seven HI participants reported reading the text out loud before the recording. Student 3 emphasised that comprehension of the content was the main reason for doing so. Instead, Student 2, another highly intelligible student, read the text silently before making a recording in order to familiarise herself with the content. Finally, Student 4 reported the use of PLSs in an orderly manner: I read the whole text out loud to understand it. Then I thought about weak forms and linking. Then I checked the pronunciation of words I was not sure about. Then I wrote the right pronunciation of these words above them in the text. Then I read the text 2 more times.

This sequential use of strategies for a specific task is an example of an orchestrated approach to pronunciation learning, which was detected e­ arlier by Szyszka (2014) in other pronunciation learning tasks, such as preparing a presentation and learning pronunciation through listening to music. More than half of the LI participants (N = 4) also testified that they had read the text aloud before recording it. In this group, however, the use of cognitive PLSs consisted mainly of pronunciation practice with individual words: checking their pronunciation, listening and repeating them after a recorded model, or reading words from the text out loud. For example, Student 11 stated: I read the text twice and looked for difficult words which I couldn’t pronounce, then I listened to the correct pronunciation in an online dictionary. Then I repeated them several times.

Apart from cognitive PLSs, LI participants listed memory strategies, such as recalling a teacher’s pronunciation and trying to remember the pronunciation of difficult words, as shown in the following excerpt from Student 10: I checked the correct pronunciation in an e-dictionary, listened, and tried to remember. I recalled how the teacher said the word.

Generally, HI individuals reported using a wider range of cognitive strategies than their LI peers. These strategies involved an array of suprasegmental aspects of pronunciation that support reading performance, such as identifying stress patterns, speech units, weak forms and linking. LI speakers did not make a single reference to these cognitive strategies but concentrated mainly on learning how to pronounce individual words.

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Interestingly, there was a difference in the use of memory strategies between the HI and LI participants. An individual with low intelligibility resorted to an external model by recalling a teacher’s pronunciation of words, whereas a participant with high intelligibility relied more on her own articulation by recalling situations when she had pronounced the words in class. This subtle variation may stem from different degrees of learners’ confidence in L2 pronunciation. However, more data is needed to confirm this hypothesis. During the performance stage

The HI speakers reported using 12 and the LI speakers nine PLSs while recording the read-aloud task (Table 8.3), which are much fewer Table 8.3  PLSs used by participants with high (HI) and low intelligibility (LI) during the performance stage HI (N = 7)

LI (N = 7)

Function

PLS

n

PLS

n

Cognitive

 focusing on fluency

1

 focusing on pronunciation while speaking

1

 speaking slowly

2

 making pauses to mark the end of the sentence or to put emphasis

1

 stressing words

1

 trying to sound like an English native speaker

1

 adjusting tongue to British sounds

1  recalling the pronunciation of words while reading the text

2

 remembering about linking

1

 remembering about correct pronunciation of sounds

1

 listening to the recording, checking the pronunciation again, and restarting the recording

1

Memory

Metacognitive

Affective

Total N

 repeating the process of recording until satisfied

2

 paying attention to emphasis and volume of speech

1

 paying attention to intonation and rhythm

1

 keeping a pencil in one’s hand to focus better

1

 deep-breathing

1

 focusing on speaking calmly

1

 reading the text in a nondisturbing environment

1

12

9

Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies  109

than those reported during the preparation stage. The HI group focused on cognitive, metacognitive and affective PLSs, whereas the LI group mentioned the use of memory, cognitive and affective PLSs, as well as one metacognitive strategy. The highly intelligible individuals used cognitive strategies such as stressing words appropriately, and reading the text slowly but fluently, which perhaps helped them to adjust their tongue to British sounds. For example, Student 5 reported: I thought about adjusting my tongue to producing British sounds.

Also, Student 4 attempted to alter his language identity to sound like a native English speaker: I used my language ego to try to sound like a native (RP/southern accent).

Overall, HI participants reported six cognitive PLSs. However, none of the strategies reported referred to either recalling or remembering pronunciation strategies. Therefore, no memory PLSs were identified in this group. Paying attention, monitoring and evaluation were represented by such metacognitive strategies as paying attention to emphasis, the volume of speech, intonation and rhythm, as well as the repetition of the process of recording until satisfied with the outcome. Some illustrative responses representing metacognitive PLS are the following: I paid attention to which words I should emphasise and say louder. (Student 4) I paid attention to intonation and rhythm. I wanted it to sound natural. (Student 5)

Finally, the highly intelligible participants were not devoid of emotional reactions, which they tried to regulate with the help of affective strategies: I tried to speak calmly. (Student 7) I was afraid of making mistakes […] I did better when I knew the recorder was switched off, I kept a pencil in my hand – without it I wouldn’t be able to focus well. (Student 2)

LI participants also reported affective strategies of deep breathing and securing a non-disturbing environment for performing the task. In addition, they detailed four instances of memory strategies. For example, some noted: While reading I tried to recall pronunciation that I had checked before. (Student 10)

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I tried to remember about linking and correct pronunciation of vowels and consonants. (Student 11)

However, only one member of this group noted a metacognitive strategy referring to monitoring and evaluation: When I felt that my pronunciation was not correct, I listened to the recording, checked the pronunciation again and started recording again [recorded 9 times]. (Student 8)

Finally, this group revealed two cognitive strategies. The first entailed a speaker’s general focus on pronunciation while recording, which requires further clarification as to what particular pronunciation aspects the participant had in mind. The second was more detailed and referred to making pauses to mark the end of a sentence or to put emphasis. Summary of findings

The HI and LI groups showed noticeable differences in their choice of PLSs to maximise listeners’ understanding of their oral recording of a text. During the preparation stage, the highly intelligible learners selected a broad range of strategies entailing suprasegmental aspects, whereas the less intelligible learners concentrated mainly on the pronunciation of lexical items. During the performance stage, the HI individuals applied more cognitive and metacognitive PLSs than their LI peers. These strategies involved not only suprasegmental aspects but also fluency and vocal tract adjustment. Implications for English Pronunciation Teaching

Although intelligibility, like a Rome, cannot be built in a day, systematic training and the use of an array of strategies that are suited to a specific pronunciation learning task may help in developing articulatory skills. Even among the small sample population analysed in this chapter, the differences between the two groups with respect to their use of PLSs are quite striking. The strategies used by the highly intelligible participants may guide instructional decisions as well as the preparation and implementation of similar learning tasks. Following the design of a strategic approach to a task (Oxford, 2017), a self-regulated learner goes through three stages: forethought, performance and self-reflection. The study participants engaged in forethought as they prepared for their recording(s). Their recording attempts took place during the performance stage. The questionnaire eliciting their use of PLSs during the forethought and performance stages prompted them to engage in self-reflection. At each of these stages, their selection and use of PLSs seemed to play an

Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies  111

important role in increasing their intelligibility. Based on the results of the study, I offer the following pedagogical recommendations to guide students’ strategic uses of PLSs during the three stages (for more on PLS research, see Chapters 3 and 7). Stage 1: Forethought

During this stage, learners should make an effort to comprehend the content of the text. Understanding intended meanings is crucial for the appropriate selection and application of suprasegmental aspects, such as pausing and intonation, because ‘[e]ven for articulate native speakers, the reading aloud of an unfamiliar passage can result in an unnatural flow, awkward pauses, stumbling over words, restarts and the like’ (CelceMurcia et al., 2010: 313). At this stage, learners should also note the range of suprasegmental aspects (e.g. stress patterns, strong and weak forms of function words, speech units, pausing and linking phenomena) that they need to focus on to achieve an intelligible speech. This analysis may be supported by more theoretical knowledge of how these suprasegmental aspects function in fluent speech. Finally, learners should identify, check, note and memorise the pronunciation of problematic words in the text. Stage 2: Performance

During this stage, an intelligible speaker implements what he or she prepared during the forethought stage. More difficult fragments and vocabulary items should be placed centre stage and articulated repeatedly at different paces, from slower to faster, in order to activate the flexibility and agility of the vocal muscles. This approach helps in practising adjusting articulators to L2 sounds, which may result in increased fluency and intelligibility (cf. Celce-Murcia et al., 2010). Additionally, this is the time to focus on several pronunciation aspects at the same time. Figuring out how to produce intelligible L2 sounds, phrase and word stress, weak forms, and intonation contours while also pausing in the right places and linking sounds appropriately requires a considerable degree of cognitive resources prompting a speaker’s declarative and procedural knowledge of L2 pronunciation. Stage 3: Self-reflection

During this stage, learners may receive feedback on their intelligibility and look back on the PLSs that, in their view, had helped them in achieving satisfactory results during the performance stage. Here, a constructive discussion on intelligibility and strategy use may take place between the speaker and the listener. This discussion may assist learners in choosing better PLSs in the future. In this study, participants engaged in

112  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

self-reflection as they completed the questionnaire on their use of PLSs. This created an opportunity for them to consider the relative effectiveness of their strategy choices. Unfortunately, teachers often neglect to allot classroom time for students to self-reflect on their learning strategies. Yet, this stage seems essential for pronunciation learners’ future actions. There is a danger that without a self-reflective stage the speakers with low levels of intelligibility will select the same set of PLSs when approaching a comparable task in the future, which may lead to the fossilisation of their levels of intelligibility. Conclusion

The aim of this chapter was to draw attention to intelligibility as a realistic goal for L2 pronunciation learning and to the PLSs used by high and low intelligible learners in preparation for and during a read-aloud task. The findings of this small-scale study confirmed that the PLSs each group used differed not in the quantity but in the range of functions and, especially, in the selection of PLSs for each function. The cognitive and metacognitive strategies of the highly intelligible individuals were oriented towards a number of suprasegmental aspects during both the preparation and performance stages of the task, whereas the less intelligible speakers selected cognitive strategies related mostly to those assisting them in pronouncing difficult words during the preparation stage, and memory strategies during the performance stage. Interesting as they are, the outcomes should be treated cautiously, mainly due to the limited scale of the study. Further investigations should comprise larger samples of more and less intelligible L2 pronunciation learners at different language proficiency levels, ages and exposure to L2. Strategies used by more intelligible and less intelligible individuals should also be verified against a selection of diverse pronunciation learning tasks, focusing on specific articulatory difficulties and/or pronunciation aspects. Most importantly, researchers interested in the social function of PLSs will need other data sources, such as communicative tasks. However, despite these limitations, this research into the PLSs used by more and less intelligible individuals opens a line of inquiry which, to a considerable extent, augments our knowledge of the kinds of PLSs students perform and could be taught to perform in preparation for and during a reading task. Understanding this process and students’ choices may allow for the creation of more effective task-oriented and strategy-based instruction for L2 pronunciation learning. References Baker-Smemoe, W. and Haslam, N. (2013) The effect of language learning aptitude, strategy use and learning context on L2 pronunciation learning. Applied Linguistics 34, 435–456.

Intelligibility and Situated Pronunciation Learning Strategies  113

Ballard, L. and Winke, P. (2017) Students’ attitudes towards English teachers’ accents: The interplay of accent familiarity, comprehensibility, intelligibility, perceived native speaker status, and acceptability as a teacher. In T. Isaacs and P. Trofimovich (eds) Second Language Pronunciation Assessment (pp. 121–140). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Berkil, G. (2008) A closer look at pronunciation learning strategies, L2 pronunciation proficiency and secondary variables influencing pronunciation ability. MA thesis, Bilkent University. Browne, K. and Fulcher, G. (2017) Pronunciation and intelligibility in assessing spoken fluency. In T. Isaacs and P. Trofimovich (eds) Second Language Pronunciation Assessment: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (pp. 37–53). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D.M., Goodwin, J.M. and Griner, B. (2010) Teaching Pronunciation: A Course Book and Reference Guide (2nd edn). New York: Cambridge University Press. Cohen, A.D. and Macaro, E. (2007) Language Learner Strategies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Crowther, D., Trofimovich, P., Saito, K. and Isaacs, T. (2014) Second language comprehensibility revisited: Investigating the effects of learner background. TESOL Quarterly 49 (4), 814–837. Derwing, T.M. (2010) Utopian goals for pronunciation teaching. In J.M. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 1st Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, Iowa, September 17–19, 2009 (pp. 24–37). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (1997) Accent, intelligibility, and comprehensibility: Evidence from four L1s. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 19 (1), 1–16. Eckstein, G.T. (2007) A correlation of pronunciation learning strategies with spontaneous English pronunciation of adult ESL learners. MA thesis, Brigham Young University. Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics (4th edn). Washington, DC: Sage. Field, J. (2005) Intelligibility and the listener: The role of lexical stress. TESOL Quarterly 39 (3), 399–423. Gass, S. and Varonis, E. (1984) The effect of familiarity on the comprehensibility of nonnative speech. Language Learning 34, 65–89. Griffiths, C. (2013) The Strategy Factor in Successful Language Learning (1st edn). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Hişmanoğlu, M. (2012) An investigation of pronunciation learning strategies of advanced EFL learners. Hacettepe University Journal of Education 43, 246–257. Ingels, S.A. (2011) The effects of self-monitoring strategy use on the pronunciation of learners of English. PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Levis, J. (2005) Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL Quarterly 39 (3), 369–377. Moyer, A. (2018) An advantage for age? Self-concept and self-regulation as teachable foundations in second language accent. The CATESOL Journal 30 (1), 95–112. Munro, M.J. (2017) Dimensions of pronunciation. In O. Kang, R.I. Thomson and J.M. Murphy (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Contemporary English Pronunciation (pp. 413–431). Abingdon: Routledge. Munro, M.J. and Derwing, T.M. (2011) The foundations of accent and intelligibility in pronunciation research. Language Teaching 44, 316–327. Munro, M.J., Derwing, T.M. and Morton, S.L. (2006) The mutual intelligibility of L2 speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 28 (1), 111–131. Oxford, R.L. (2011) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Harlow: Longman. Oxford, R. (2017) Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies: SelfRegulation in Context (2nd edn). New York: Routledge.

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Pawlak, M. (2018) Investigating the use of speaking strategies in the performance of two communicative tasks: The importance of communicative goal. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 269–292. Pawlak, M. and Szyszka, M. (2018) Researching pronunciation learning strategies: An overview and a critical look. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 8 (2), 293–324. Peterson, S. (2000) Pronunciation learning strategies: A first look. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED450599). Riney, T., Takada, M. and Ota, M. (2000) Segmentals and global foreign accent: The Japanese flap in EFL. TESOL Quarterly 34, 711–737. Rogerson-Revell, P. (2011) English Phonology and Pronunciation Teaching. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. Rokoszewska, K. (2012) The influence of pronunciation learning strategies on mastering English vowels. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching 2 (3), 391–413. Sardegna, V.G. (2009) Improving English stress through pronunciation learning strategies (Publication No. 3363085). PhD dissertation, University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. ProQuest Dissertation Publishing. Sardegna, V.G. (2011) Pronunciation learning strategies that improve ESL learners’ linking. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 2nd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, Iowa, September 10–11, 2010 (pp. 105–121). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Sardegna, V.G. (2012) Learner differences in strategy use, self-efficacy beliefs, and pronunciation improvement. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 3rd Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Ames, IA, September 16–17, 2011 (pp. 39–53). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Sardegna, V.G. and McGregor, A. (2013) Scaffolding students’ self-regulated efforts for effective pronunciation practice. In J. Levis and K. LeVelle (eds) Proceedings of the 4th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, Vancouver, British Columbia, August 24–25, 2012 (pp. 182–193). Ames, IA: Iowa State University. Sardegna, V.G., Lee, J. and Kusey, C. (2018) Self-efficacy, attitudes, and choice of strategies for English pronunciation learning. Language Learning 68 (1), 83–114. Sobkowiak, W. (2008) English Phonetics for Poles: A resource Book for Learners and Teachers. Poznan: Wydawnictwo Poznanskie. Strange, W. and Shafer, V.L. (2008) Speech perception in second language learners. In J.G. Hansen Edwards and M.L. Zampini (eds) Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (pp.153–191). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Szyszka, M. (2014) Pronunciation learning strategy chains: A qualitative approach. In D. Gabryś-Barker and A. Wojtaszek (eds) Studying Second Language Acquisition From a Qualitative Perspective (pp. 35–47). Cham: Springer. Szyszka. M. (2017) Pronunciation Learning Strategies and Language Anxiety: In Search of an Interplay. Cham: Springer. Szyszka, M. (2021) Pronunciation learning strategies: A task-based perspective. In A. KirkovaNaskova, A. Henderson and J. Fouz-Gonzalez (eds) English Pronunciation Instruction: Research-based insights (pp. 147–171). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Véliz Campos, M.E. (2015) Pronunciation learning strategy use, aptitude, and their relationship with pronunciation performance of pre-service English language teachers in Chile. PhD dissertation, University of Exeter. Walker, R. (2010) Teaching the Pronunciation of English as a Lingua Franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yetkin, R. (2017) Research into pronunciation learning strategies of pre-service English teachers. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics 3 (2), 287–295. Zsiga, E.C. (2013) The Sounds of Language: An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.

9 Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production with Perception Alice Henderson and Arkadiusz Rojczyk

Introduction

Research has shown that foreign language (FL) accent imitation in one’s mother tongue reveals which FL pronunciation features have been robustly acquired, as they surface in imitations (Adank et  al., 2013; Everitt, 2015; Rojczyk, 2015; Sypianska & Olender, 2016). As such, FL accent imitation has potential as an effective pronunciation teaching technique, even though it works better with certain learners, in part due to varying degrees of talent for mimicry – a variable that has been found to predict the degree of L2 foreign accent (Flege et al., 1999; Purcell & Suter, 1980). To help learners experience success in modifying their pronunciation of selected features, we tackled pronunciation instruction playfully by emphasising the physical aspect of speech. We wanted to find out if English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners can modify the pronunciation of selected features through imitation. This chapter starts with an overview of relevant findings from research on foreign-accented speech, and a description of differences in articulatory settings between French and English speakers. It then describes the five hypotheses that guided our investigation on the efficacy of utilising an FL accent imitation technique for modifying L2 accentedness. The hypotheses were checked via a series of acoustic and correlation analyses and listeners’ ratings of recordings from French EFL learners. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the findings and pedagogical implications for language teachers interested in implementing the technique of FL accent imitation in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses. FL accent imitation is a low-tech technique that might interest teachers who tend to avoid teaching pronunciation.

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Background Perceptions of foreign-accented speech

Native-like pronunciation is the focus of FL imitation but was not the instructional goal for this course, where comprehensibility and intelligibility were more important. According to Derwing and Munro (2009: 480), ‘accent is about difference, comprehensibility is about the listener’s effort, and intelligibility is the end result: how much the listener actually understands’. The distinction is important because natives and nonnatives listen differently (Cutler, 2000) due to, for example, listener background (Jułkowska & Cebrian, 2015; Kang et al., 2016), level of experience with or proficiency in the language (O’Brien, 2014) and training (Yan & Ginther, 2018). Listeners have acute sensitivity to nativeness and can distinguish ­foreign-accented speech from native-produced samples in unexpected conditions, i.e. in a language they do not speak (Major, 2007) or in extracts played backward (Derwing & Munro, 2009). When asked to exemplify a certain accent, people usually emphasise segmentals, with rhoticity being particularly salient. Yet, research on L2 English has shown that prominent stress measures and pitch range are better predictors of accentedness than segmentals (Kang, 2010; O’Brien, 2014) and that pause duration and speech rate contribute more to accentedness than stress timing or peak alignment (Trofimovich & Baker, 2006). Articulatory setting (AS)

After studying abroad, many students notice that the language they had used in the target country progressively ‘leaves their mouth’ or that it ‘feels harder to say things’ in that language. This arguably shows awareness of articulatory setting (AS), defined by Honikman (1964: 73) as ‘the overall arrangement and manoeuvring of the speech organs necessary for the facile accomplishment of natural utterance’. Honikman (1964) explained in detail how English and French have diametrically opposed ASs: – for English, the jaws are loosely closed, and the lips are only moderately active, whereas for French, the jaws are slightly open, and the lips are rounded and much more active; – the main consonant articulation in an English AS is tip-alveolar, but French uses a blade-dental one; – the oral cavity is more relaxed for English, without the contracted cheeks characteristic of a French AS. Whereas in acoustic phonetics, AS designates a detailed analysis of articulatory gestures, e.g. laryngeal position or voice quality (for experimental testing, see Gick et al., 2004; Wilson & Gick, 2013), here it refers to pronunciation habits which might be analysed for pronunciation teaching

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  117

and learning. Even without traveling, learners can gain valuable experience in changing their AS by imitating the accent of someone trying to learn their mother tongue. Awareness and conscious control of one’s articulators are key to Messum and Young’s (2019) motor skills framework for pronunciation instruction, which underlies the teaching intervention presented herein. Based on the aforementioned research, we set out to investigate whether English learners could modify their L2 accentedness through an FL accent imitation technique that made them aware of AS differences between their L1 (French) and L2 (English). Specifically, we tested the following five hypotheses: – H1: L earners will be able to imitate French as spoken by a learner whose L1 is English. – H2: Acoustic measurements of this ‘anglicised’ French will correlate with perceptual evaluations. – H3: Native (L1 French) and non-native (L2 French) listeners will evaluate this ‘anglicised’ French differently. – H4: Learners will transfer accent modifications in their L1 (French) to their L2 (English). – H5: Learners will maintain their modified L2 English pronunciation over eight weeks. Methodology Participants and context

Participants were 17 undergraduate students (12 females, 5 males; 20–27 years old) taking an obligatory ESP course in their final year of a Food Sciences degree at a French university. Their degree required them to do internships, where they had to interact with native and non-native English speakers. A main goal of this course was to help these students improve their oral intelligibility so that they could be easily understood by their interlocutors, even if they had a marked French accent. The instructional model

The ESP course consisted of 28 hours of English from October to March (6 months), with 18 hours concentrated between mid-January and mid-March. Each session lasted 3 to 3.5 hours. The first month (Weeks 1–4) was devoted to listening comprehension and auditory perception work (see Henderson & Cauldwell, 2020). Subsequent teaching was designed so learners could physically experience modifying their pronunciation using FL accent imitation as a complement to articulatory instruction (see Messum, 2010; Messum & Young, 2017). Table 9.1 details the instructional content of the course.

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Table 9.1  Brief outline of the ESP course Time/T# (Weeks)

Instructional Content

T1 (1-4)

Classwork: Students complete listening comprehension and auditory perception work.

T2 (5-6)

Recording #1 (individually, for homework): Students read aloud 10 technical words (e.g. fermentation).

T3 (7-8)

Feedback #1: The teacher sends via email individualised audio feedback on Recording #1 with a focus on stress and certain phonemes; the teacher uses a few technical terms.

T4 (16)

Recording #2 (individually): Students read aloud: (a) the French text (in their best French), (b) the French text imitating an English learner of French using any native accent (warm-up), (c) two sentences in English ‘speaking in the same way’ as in (b) (Teacher cups hands around jaws as a reminder.)

T5 (17)

Feedback #2 (individually): Students discuss T3 audio feedback with the teacher. Classwork: Students read aloud sentences from Recording #2c in both French and English during other exercises.

T6 (18)

Awareness Raising: Students identify whether a speaker is a learner speaking French or is a native French (NF) speaker imitating such a learner. The teacher provides explicit AS instruction. Recording #3 (individually): Students discuss their internship experience with the teacher.

T7 (19)

Feedback #3: The teacher sends via email individualised audio feedback on Recording #3.

T8 (22)

Classwork (in pairs): Students practice using sentences from Recording #2c as a warm-up and then describe their internships for one minute. The teacher circulates, recycling technical words via coloured vowel cards (from Recording #1), and the English and French sentences (from Recording #2c).

T9 (23)

Recording #4 (individually): Students do an oral presentation to the class on their internship experience.

T10 (24)

Recording #5 (in groups): Students read aloud sentences from Recording #2c (warm-up), and then explain for 2–3 minutes a food production process.

Regular feedback and articulatory instruction aimed to increase students’ awareness and confidence. From T2 onwards, audio recordings were ­regularly used to demystify recording. Individualised, constructive audio feedback was provided at T3, T5 and T7. Recordings during class sessions at T4 and T6 were done in an adjoining classroom on the teacher’s ­smartphone. No specific variety of English was imposed; students could imitate any native English speaker trying to speak French, to ‘get into the right posture’ for English. For Recording #2, participants read aloud the following text, once in their ‘best French’ and then ‘imitating a native English speaker speaking French’: Au lycée Jenny a plein d’amis et elle a remarqué que ce n’est pas le cas de Rose, qui est nouvelle cette année.

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  119

Rose a l’air très sympa et, comme Jenny, elle fait partie de l’équipe de foot. Du coup, Jenny pose la question à une autre copine de l’équipe : ‘Et si on demandait à Rose de courir avec nous?’ Qui lui répond : ‘Oui ! Ce serait génial!’ Dès le prochain entraînement Jenny pose la question à Rose, qui accepte avec un énorme sourire.

Lastly, they recorded the English translation of the two underlined sentences: Why don’t we ask Rose to come running with us? Yes! That would be great! These two sentences were used in both languages in class from T5 onwards, for individual or choral repetition, to get into the English AS. At T6, students listened to some sound files and were asked to identify whether a speaker was a learner speaking in French or was a native French (NF) speaker imitating such a learner. Afterwards, when told that all the voices were theirs, and they realised how ‘non-French’ they had sounded, they burst into excited discussion. Even those whose voices had not been included in the exercise were pleasantly surprised at their success. The objective of the exercise was to playfully show that they could modify their pronunciation. Data collection

The ‘best French’ (BFr) and ‘imitation’ (IMI, i.e. imitating a native English speaker speaking French) versions at T4 (Recording #2) were collected to compare the following sound realisations: • Vowels: – [e] in lycée, année, remarqué, équipe, génial, énorme → expected to be diphthongised as [eɪ] in IMI. – [ԑ] in n’est, très, fait, demandait, serait, dès → expected to be diphthongised as [eɪ] in IMI. – [o] (as in beau) or [ɔ] (as in dormir) of Rose, pose, autre, répond, prochain → expected to be diphthongised as [əʊ] or [oʊ] in IMI. – [u] in nous and du coup [ku] → expected to be realised more like [u:] in IMI. • Consonants: – /r/: uvular fricative [ʁ] and/or trill [ʀ] of Rose, courir, répond, serait → expected to become closer to an alveolar approximant [ɹ] in IMI. Only word-initial and intervocalic positions for /r/ were selected because, in post-consonantal positions (especially when the preceding consonant is a voiceless stop), /r/ may undergo friction or devoicing in English. – /k/: voiceless plosive /k/ is aspirated in English initial position [kʰ]. Successful modification would be evidenced by increased Voice

120  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Onset Time (VOT) values in IMI (even though courir starts with an unstressed syllable in French, and aspiration would, thus, already be less obvious). The following sound targets were selected from productions of the two English sentences collected at T4 and T10: diphthongs in Rose and great; initial /r/ in Rose, running; and aspiration in initial /k/ in come. As discussed earlier, pitch and duration also contribute to accentedness ratings, so they were included in the analysis. We selected these target features because they are: • difficult for NF learners of English (Exare, 2009; Swan & Smith, 2001). • salient to students in the context under study: When asked in short, guided interviews ‘What do you do to have a good English accent?’, out of 34 Food Science students, 10 mentioned a focus on ‘aggressive’ or ‘hard’ initial /p t k/ (i.e. initial aspiration), 18 mentioned the letter , 5 attempted a diphthongised , and 5 tried an alveolar approximant [ɹ] for /r/. • relevant: These sounds frequently occur in Food Science terms, e.g. frozen, mould, fermentation, rare, extrude, paste, time. • easily observable: A hand mirror shows visible jaw and lip movements or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and videos of realisations1 can be used, facilitating pedagogical treatment. The Functional Load of two Received Pronunciation contrasts (6 for /əʊ - ɒ/ and 10 for /əʊ - ɔː/, where 10 is the highest possible load) (Brown, 1988) was a secondary factor. Data analysis

To test H1, H2, H4 and H5, the vowel targets from Recordings #2 and #3 were analysed acoustically with PRAAT, if participants had recorded both. Diphthongal realisations were identified based on visible trajectory changes of F1 and F2 compared to monophthongs (more stable formant structures). Auditory judgements were used to classify /r/ realisations as alveolar or uvular, and VOT values were measured for /k/. To test H2 and H3, the BFr and IMI recordings of 13 participants (four were excluded due to incomplete recordings) were assessed by 235 listeners (Females = 202; Males = 33) with a Mean age of 22.42 (MIN = 18; MAX = 65) and from 12 different L1 backgrounds (Table 9.2). All listeners were university students except the Dutch, who were in their final year of secondary school. All were studying in their home country (e.g. native Anglophones were students at an American university). Most (44%) reported elementary or pre-intermediate French proficiency, and 31.4% indicated combined intermediate and upper-intermediate

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  121

Table 9.2  Listeners’ native language (N = 235) N of listeners

Native language

69

Macedonian

45

English

39

French

31

Thai

26

Polish

11

Dutch

7

Albanian

2

Bosnian

2

Spanish

1

Arabic

1

Serbian

1

Turkish

proficiency. The proportion of advanced and native listeners was 9% and 16%, respectively. H2 was also tested with measurements of duration (+/− pauses) for the BFr and IMI recordings, analysed using Pearson’s correlations in relation to native speaker identifications. The rating task was delivered via PsyToolKit (Stoet, 2010, 2017). Listeners reported their age, gender, native language and French proficiency, and then listened to 26 (13 speakers × 2 sentences) recordings of the two English sentences. They indicated whether they thought the speaker was a native speaker of French and their degree of certainty in their assessments. Results Acoustic results

This section presents the results of acoustic analyses for segmental realisations in the BFr, IMI and Transfer (in English) conditions. Speaker name reflects gender (F01 = female 1, M1 = male 1). The number of participants varied slightly for each data set because three participants (F05, F08 and F11) did a partial recording at T4, and three other participants (F03, F10 and M02) did a partial recording at T10. At T4, IMI results show that six speakers changed their pronunciation of [e] towards a more diphthongal realisation, but not frequently (8.4%), and even less frequently (3.6%) for [ԑ] (Table 9.3). Hence, diphthongisation was not an active mechanism in IMI. However, when participants read the sentences in English (Transfer) all occurrences of great were diphthongal [eɪ] at T4 and T10.

122  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Table 9.3  Realisation of French monophthong [e] and [ε] diphthongised as [eɪ] (IMI at T4) Speaker

IMI, N of diphthongal realisations of [e] in lycée, année, remarqué, équipe, génial, énorme

IMI, N of diphthongal realisations of [ε] in n’est, très, fait, demandait, serait, dès

F01

0

0

F02

0

1

F03

0

0

F04

0

0

F06

2

0

F07

2

1

F09

2

0

F10

0

0

F12

0

0

M1

2

1

M2

0

0

M3

1

0

M4

1

0

M5

0

0

Total/Possible N

10/84

3/84

%

8.4%

3.6%

N = 14; Note: F05, F08, and F11 are not included because they did not complete their recordings at T4.

Students’ realisations regarding [o] or [ɔ] in five words in IMI were also analysed at T4 to see if they were closer to [əʊ] or [oʊ]. As Table 9.4 shows, students’ diphthongisation reached 13%, thus being relatively more frequent than diphthongisation toward [eɪ] (8.4% and 3.6%). However, while the rate is slightly higher, it does not indicate a robust imitation feature. Table 9.4 also provides the results regarding diphthongal realisations of Rose in Transfer, showing improvement from half being diphthongal at T4 to almost three-quarters (71%) at T10. This observable increase is perhaps due to the repetition of the English sentences in class. Realisations of the vowel in nous [nu] and du coup [ku] were analysed to see if they were realised closer to /u:/ in IMI at T4. The assumption was that English /u:/ is more fronted, being located between French /y/ and /u/ (King & Ferragne, 2018). The raw measurements were normalised using the Lobanov transform (Lobanov, 1971) and rescaled from z-scores back to Hz using Thomas and Kendall’s (2007) scaling algorithm (see also Rojczyk, 2019). Two corner vowels for normalisation, /i/ and /a/, were extracted from qui in qui lui répond, qui accepte, and avec, sympa. Figure 9.1 shows normalised mean values of F1 and F2 for /u/ in nous and du coup. The analysis of nous did not show an imitation effect. There was no

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  123

Table 9.4  Realisation of French monophthong [o] or [ɔ] diphthongised as [əʊ] or [oʊ] (IMI), and diphthongal realisation in Rose in English (Transfer) at T4 and T10 Speaker

IMI, N of diphthongal realisations in Rose, pose, autre, répond, prochain

Transfer, N of diphthongal realisations in Rose T4

T10

F01

3

0

1

F02

0

0

0

F03

0





F04

2

0

1

F05





0

F06

1

1

1

F07

0

1

1

F08



1

1

F09

1

0

0

F10

0





F11



0

1

F12

0

0

1

M1

1

1

1

M2

0





M3

1

1

0

M4

0

1

1

M5

0

1

1

Total/Possible N

9/70

7/14

10/14

%

13%

50%

71%

*

indicates no recording.

*

significant difference for F1 between BFr (M = 302 Hz) and IMI (M = 313 Hz) [F(1,12) = .237, p = .64]. The difference for F2 was also non-significant [F(1, 12) = .23, p = .64] with M = 1384 Hz for BFr and M = 1323 Hz for IMI. For coup, there was a significant difference in F1 between BFr (M = 340 Hz) and IMI (M = 384 Hz) [F(1, 13) = 9.47, p = .001]. The difference in F2 was near significant [F(1, 13) = 4.3, p = .06] with M = 1151 Hz for BFr and M = 1065 Hz for IMI. While there is no effect for nous, significant raising and near significant backing of /u/ occurred in coup. These results were counter to expectations, as English /u:/ is more fronted than French /u/. Accordingly, our results show no imitative tendencies for this vowel because not only was there no fronting towards English /u:/ in IMI but, quite contrary, there was near significant backing, which indicates that the participants produced ‘more French’ /u/ in IMI than in BFr. Speakers’ pronunciations of /r/ in BFr were realised as a uvular (fricative or trill), with the alveolar approximant considered the imitation

124  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Figure 9.1  Plots of F1 and F2 values in Hz in BFr and IMI of /u/ in nous (top) and du coup (bottom). Normalised values and Hz-rescaled frequencies for male and female speakers

target. Table 9.5 compares four realisations per speaker in IMI and realisations for Rose and running in the English sentences at T4 and T10. Realisations of /r/ turned out to be the most productive of the analysed features, with 36 modified realisations in IMI at T4, where alveolar realisations were more common than uvular (64% vs. 36%). Moreover, every speaker successfully produced at least one alveolar-like /r/, with four speakers producing it four times each. Similarly, in the English sentences, the pronunciation of Rose and running improved to 100% alveolar realisations from T4 (86% and 93%, respectively). This feature can, therefore, be considered salient to imitators as well as modifiable. The analysis of /k/ in the word courir (Figure 9.2) showed that mean VOT values were 56 ms for BFr and 61 ms for IMI. The difference was nonsignificant [F(1, 13) = .88, p = .36]2 . However, the analysed /k/ was in an unstressed syllable in the target word, and voiceless stops in unstressed positions are characterised by shorter VOTs than those in stressed positions. This may have influenced the current comparison. In Transfer, however, some improvement is notable in the aspiration of initial /k/ in come (Figure 9.3), as shown by the increase in VOT from M = 49 ms at T4 to M = 62 ms at T10. The difference is statistically significant [F(1, 12) = 7.42, p = .02]. The acoustic findings are summarised in Table 9.6.

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  125

Table 9.5  Realisation of /r/ in IMI and Transfer (T4 and T10) IMI, N of alveolar approximant realisations in Rose, courir, répond, serait

Transfer, N of alveolar realisations

T4

T10

T4

T10

F01

1

0

1

0

1

F02

4

1

1

1

1

F03

4









F04

4

1

1

1

1

F05

–*

1

1

1

1

F06

1

1

1

1

1

F07

3

1

1

1

1

F08



1

1

1

1

F09

2

1

1

1

1

F10

3









F11



0

1

1

1

F12

2

1

1

1

1

M1

2

1

1

1

1

M2

1









M3

2

1

1

1

1

M4

4

1



1

1

M5

3

1

1

1

1

Total/Possible N

36/56

12/14

14/14

13/14

14/14

%

64%

86%

100%

93%

100%

Speaker

*

Rose

running

indicates no recording.

Figure 9.2  VOT values of /k/ in ms for courir at T4 in BFr and IMI

126  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Figure 9.3  VOT values of /k/ in ms for come at T4 and T10 in Transfer

Table 9.6  Summary of acoustic findings Feature

Significant in FL accent imitation?

Significant in Transfer to English (T4 and T10)?

diphthongisation: [eɪ]

No

Yes

diphthongisation: [əʊ] or [oʊ]

No

Yes

[u] to [u:]

No + counter to expectations



/r/: uvular to alveolar

Yes

Yes

/k/ aspiration

No

Yes

Listeners’ assessments

Correct identifications did not correlate significantly with listeners’ L1. The frequency with which listeners identified individual speakers as NF speakers and their degree of confidence in their ratings3 for sentence 1 (S1) and sentence 2 (S2) are presented in Table 9.7. Recordings of the sentences were blocked (all Sentence 1, then all Sentence 2 recordings) and randomised within blocks. The confidence rating was measured using a ‘mouse drag’ scale bar with five points ranging from ‘not at all’ to ‘very much’, reflecting a 1–5-point Likert scale. The recordings were made by NF speakers, yet listeners failed to identify most speakers as such, indicating successful accent imitation. For Et si on demandait á Rose courir avec nous? on average, only 21% of listeners reported an NF status for speakers. For Qui lui répond: ‘Oui, ce serait genial!’ identification as NF was slightly higher (average 32%). Confidence in decisions was high, reaching 4.5 on the 1–5 scale. There is observable between-speaker and between-sentence variability. For example, Speaker F03 was identified as NF only 5% and 3% of the

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  127

Table 9.7 Ratings in percent indicating an NF identity for speakers, and mean confidence rating (1 = not at all, 5 = very much) S1: Et si on demandait á Rose de courir avec nous?

S2: Qui lui répond: ‘Oui, ce serait genial!’

Speaker

NF speaker?

Confidence

Speaker

NF speaker?

Confidence

F01

21%

3.8

F01

91%

4.2

F02

6%

4.5

F02

15%

4.2

F03

5%

4.5

F03

3%

4.5

F04

18%

4.1

F04

4%

4.5

F06

19%

4.0

F06

53%

3.7

F07

12%

4.3

F07

10%

4.3

F09

31%

3.8

F09

28%

4.0

F10

79%

3.9

F10

96%

4.5

F12

10%

4.2

F12

29%

3.8

M1

10%

4.2

M1

37%

3.7

M2

18%

3.9

M2

3%

4.4

M3

15%

4.0

M3

22%

4.0

M4

27%

3.9

M4

21%

3.9

AVERAGE

21%

3.8

AVERAGE

32%

4.1

N = 13; Note: F05, F08 and F11 are not included because they did not complete the recording at T4. M5 is excluded due to a software error in this perception experiment.

time for Sentence 1 and Sentence 2, respectively. In contrast, Speaker F10 had a high NF identification rate in both sentences (79%, 96%). Concerning between-sentence variability, Speaker F01 was identified as NF only 21% of the time in Sentence 1 but 91% of the time for Sentence 2. Large differences were also observed in Speakers F06 and M1. Correlation results

As shown in Figure 9.4, there was an effect of duration with pauses on Sentence 1 [r = .59, p = .04], with shorter phrases identified as produced by an NF more frequently than longer phrases. There was no effect for Sentence 2 [r = −.005, p = .99]. The analysis of durations without pauses revealed the same pattern: shorter sentence durations correlated with more native judgements for Sentence 1 [r = .59, p = .03] but not for Sentence 2 [r = −.44, p = .14]. Mean pitch was extracted from the whole utterance duration and correlated with native judgements using Pearson’s correlation (Figure 9.5). Neither Et si on demandait á Rose courir avec nous? [r = .12, p = .69] nor Qui lui répond: ‘Oui, ce serait genial?’ [r = .22, p = .48] correlated significantly with native identifications, indicating that mean pitch was not a perception cue for listeners.

128  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

Figure 9.4  Correlation graphs for duration with pauses and native judgements for Et si on demandait á Rose courir avec nous? (left) and Qui lui répond: ‘Oui, ce serait genial?’ (right)

Figure 9.5  Correlation graphs for the mean pitch in Hz and native judgements for Et si on demandait á Rose courir avec nous? (left) and Qui lui répond: ‘Oui, ce serait genial?’ (right)

Comparing rating differences shows a weak influence of listeners’ L1 background (Table 9.8). Listeners answered the question Is it a native French speaker? yet all recordings of English-accented French were from native francophones. Therefore, the imitation seemed to be most successful in the ears of the L1 Poles: only 13% identified the speaker as L1 French. The French listeners were also frequently fooled (22%), and almost as many Macedonian and Thai listeners were also convinced of the speaker’s non-French identity (28%). The most resistant to imitations were the Dutch (32%) and Americans (36%), but they were nonetheless fooled roughly two-thirds of the time.

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  129

Table 9.8  Average listener guesses of speaker L1 identity Listeners’ L1

NF Speaker?

Polish

13%

French

22%

Macedonian

28%

Thai

28%

Other

28%

Dutch

32%

English

36%

Discussion The perception results (Table 9.6) have shown – more than the production data – that learners can modify their pronunciation in ways that listeners notice. In terms of successful realisations in the IMI condition at T4, the overall percentages3 of modified realisations are low, except for the alveolar /r/, at 64%. All learners changed their pronunciation of /r/ and 4 of the 14 speakers used an alveolar in all 4 words; interestingly, 5 speakers modified only this feature. Alveolar /r/ can be considered both a highly salient and realisable feature. Diphthongs were not consistently realised, with [eɪ] realised marginally more than [əʊ] or [oʊ]. No imitative tendencies emerged for /k/ or for /u/. Paradoxically, realisations of /u/ in coup even showed significant raising and near significant backing, whereas English /u:/ is more fronted than French /u/. As a result, in imitations, we observed that /u/ was somehow ‘more French’ than the one in BFr. An inspection of selected recordings did not reveal any significant differences in F0 contours in BFr and IMI. Moreover, the total pitch mean did not cue the listeners’ decisions. Realisations were more successful in the Transfer condition. However, each feature only occurred in one word (great for [eɪ], Rose for [əʊ] or [oʊ] and come for /k/) and in two words (Rose, running) for /r/. There is a tendency showing improvement, but more controlled experiments with more test tokens are needed to validate this tendency with more powerful statistical tests. Diphthongisation improved moderately for [əʊ] or [oʊ] in Rose, with 50% diphthongal realisations at T4 rising to 71% at T10. In contrast, all occurrences of great were [eɪ] diphthongal at both times, perhaps due to a lexical frequency effect. Alveolar realisations of /r/ increased to 100% at T10 but were already elevated at T4 (86% for Rose, 93% for running). Aspiration of initial /k/ in come was significant. The lack of significance for pitch and limited significance for duration may reflect the non-spontaneous nature of the elicited language. It was noticeable that some participants mechanically repeated the sentences, merely articulating a series of words. To summarise, in terms of producing modifications after eight weeks of minimal awarenessraising exercises, these results show improvement in diphthongal realisations,

130  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

improvement to full accuracy in producing alveolar /r/, and a statistically significant increase in VOT for the word come. In contrast, the perception data indicate that accent imitation was often successful in listeners’ ears, despite the modest number of modifications in this small set of features. This may be interpreted to mean that modifications in imitation are more global, involving more than the selected segmental ­features, e.g. prosodic features. Concerning observable between-sentence variability, 6 of the 13 speakers’ imitations were perceived as less convincing in Sentence 2. Perhaps some found it possible to maintain the novel articulatory posture only long enough to utter Sentence 1 or, inversely, others benefitted from a ‘warm up’ (see Table 9.1).

The perception data also show that in the IMI condition, Speakers F03, F07 and M2 were the most consistently convincing despite their production data (often incomplete). This supports the interpretation that other features, including prosodic ones, may have contributed to global perceptions of their speech. However, there was no effect of mean pitch for either sentence, and sentence duration only correlated with being identified as a native French speaker for Sentence 2. To identify other contributing features post hoc, we looked at specific speakers with particularly ‘successful’ imitations. Speaker F07 used /dʒ/ quite noticeably in génial, as did Speaker F02, who also varied their nasal vowels. Speakers F04 and M2 had more hesitations and false starts, which made them sound hesitant – similar to a language learner. Inversely, Speaker F06 was quite successful with Sentence 1 but a syllabic /l/ at the end of génial in Sentence 2 may have influenced listeners. American listeners were the most skeptical, perhaps expecting more target-like ­productions – and yet they guessed incorrectly for 64% of the stimuli. Moreover, we cannot explain the fact that the Poles were the most frequently duped by imitations (87 %), nor that the French students were so frequently fooled (78%). Two instruction-related factors may have influenced the results. First, the influence of frequent repetition of the two sentences is unknown. They were elicited whenever a student was having trouble with a sound, such as [əʊ] or [oʊ] in frozen, protein, or sodium; the teacher said Rose with rising intonation, and they produced both sentences. Secondly, we do not know the extent to which awareness-raising exercises4 influenced their productions. To conclude, our hypotheses are not entirely confirmed. H1 is confirmed, as acoustic analyses did confirm learners’ ability to modify certain features of their French pronunciation to more closely resemble the pronunciation of a native English speaker learning French. H3 is confirmed because native and non-native listeners did evaluate speaker identity differently. We found partial confirmation for H4 and H5, as three of the four segmental features improved, and improvements endured. However, H2 is rejected. In production, some features were modified, but the perception decisions are largely listener-dependent; some listeners were very

Foreign Language Accent Imitation: Matching Production With Perception  131

conservative while others were deceived easily. Moreover, there was much speaker dependency; some speakers were identified as native speakers of French despite their attempts to modify their accents, while others were more successful in incorporating English elements in their productions. Pedagogical Implications The perceptual findings seem to indicate that, with these learners, /r/ and diphthongs are productive starting points for FL accent imitation work. This leads us to make three pedagogical recommendations, particularly for ESP courses. First, teachers can prioritise features for instruction according to whether they are predicted to be difficult (in terms of contrastive analysis), salient to learners and to listeners (related to perceived nativeness), relevant to students’ field of study (contributing to comprehensibility and intelligibility within their field) and observable in some way (e.g. with mirrors, images). These criteria targeting comprehensibility and intelligibility proved to be useful in our study. This prioritisation can be done implicitly by chatting with learners (e.g. by asking them about potential or probable interactions, interlocutors, and topics). Second, our study hints at the usefulness of articulatory setting work. Teachers can exploit features of learners’ L1 AS by raising awareness. In this study, for example, we raised awareness of the rounded lips (similar to French) yet unclenched jaw for English /u:/, and the need to move from a slightly open (similar to French) to a more closed aperture for /əʊ/ and /oʊ/ in English (Exare, 2009). Making students aware of their articulatory success (e.g. with /r/ or the diphthong in great) motivates learners, and this affective factor should not be neglected. Finally, language teachers need to accept the usefulness of mastering basic anatomical terms in line with an articulatory approach to teaching pronunciation. Conclusion The goal of our study was to show the potential of the FL accent imitation technique. The comparison of the production and perception data revealed great incongruity between the two modalities. While the production results showed little effect of imitation in the features examined here, the perception results demonstrated that imitation was relatively successful. These findings suggest that more general (or gross) spectral characteristics, which were not measured, may have been at work. Future research might want to examine different combinations of spectral and temporal features and their contributions to successful imitation. Still, the results of our small case study are encouraging because, ultimately, it is the perceptual measures that are more relevant for these learners’ future professional interactions. The participants were able to successfully modify their pronunciation in the imitation condition, and when made aware of that fact, they expressed pleasant surprise. Furthermore, they transferred some changes to their English production by

132  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

the semester’s end. This low-tech technique, thus, shows enough potential for teachers to explore its use with their learners. Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to our colleagues Linda Shockey and Kristýna Červinková Poesová for their precious feedback on earlier drafts of this text. We are also indebted to our colleagues who graciously recruited listeners for our study: Vincent Chanethom, Jirawan Kiatphotha, Anastazija Kirkova-Naskova and Adriaan Walpot. Notes (1) For an alveolar-tip articulation of /t/, see video of rapper at https://www.youtube. com/watch?v=PLTWtf6CTDM; for comparative realisations of /r/ (Fr-EngCroatian), we thank M. Tabain (see Badin et al., 2019) for graciously providing MRI images. (2) Results from listener assessments indicate that this element did not signal an English accent in French. (3) Percentages are used for these results because the total number of potential occurrences (participants × words with the feature) was deemed high enough for percentages to be meaningful: 56 possible occurrences for /r/, 70 for [əʊ] or [oʊ], and 168 for [eɪ], (84 replacing [e] and 84 [ԑ]). (4) Visuals were used from Ashton and Shepherd (2012), Messum (2010) and Messum and Young (2017).

References Adank, P., Stewart, A.J., Connell, L. and Wood, J. (2013) Accent imitation positively affects language attitudes. Frontiers in Psychology 4, 1–10. Ashton, H. and Shepherd, S. (2012) Work on your Accent. London: HarperCollins. Badin, P., Tabain, M. and Lamalle, L. (2019) Comparative study of coarticulation in a multilingual speaker: Preliminary results from MRI data. Proceedings, ICPhS 2019 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, August 5–9 (pp. 3453–3457). Melbourne, Australia. Brown, A. (1988) Functional load and the teaching of pronunciation. TESOL Quarterly 22 (4), 593–606. Cutler, A. (2000) Listening to a second language through the ears of a first. Interpreting 5 (1), 1–23. Derwing, T.M. and Munro, M.J. (2009) Putting accent in its place: Rethinking obstacles to communication. Language Teaching 42 (4), 476–490. Everitt, C. (2015) Accent imitation on the L1 as a task to improve L2 pronunciation. MA Thesis, Universitat de Barcelona. Exare, C. (2009) La mise en place de trois voyelles postérieures en anglais langue étrangère. Analyse acoustique et perspective de quelques interférences pour des pistes de correction phonétique. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité Cahiers de l’ APLIUT, 18 (3), 68–84. Flege, J.E., Yeni-Komshian, G. and Liu, S. (1999) Age constraints on second language acquisition. Journal of Memory and Language 41, 78–104. Gick, B., Wilson, I., Koch, K. and Cook, C. (2004) Language-specific articulatory settings: Evidence from inter-utterance rest position. Phonetica 61 (4), 220–233.

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Henderson, A. and Cauldwell, R. (2020) Jungle listening: A course in decoding English for psychology students. ASp 77, 63–77. Honikman, B. (1964) Articulatory settings. In D. Abercrombie (ed.) In Honour of Daniel Jones (pp. 73–84). London: Longman. Jułkowska, I.A. and Cebrian, J. (2015) Effects of listener factors and stimulus properties on the intelligibility, comprehensibility and accentedness of L2 speech. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation 1 (2), 211–237. Kang, O. (2010) Relative salience of suprasegmental features on judgments of L2 comprehensibility and accentedness. System 38 (2), 301–315. Kang, O., Vo, S.C.T. and Moran, M. (2016) Perceptual judgments of accented speech by listeners from different first language backgrounds. TESL-EJ 20 (1). See https://www. tesl-ej.org/wordpress/issues/volume20/ej77/ej77a1/ King, H. and Ferragne, E. (2018) /u/ fronting in English: How phonetically accurate should phonological labels be? Paper presented at RFP 2018: 16émes Rencontres du Réseau Français de Phonologie, June 27–29, 2018, Paris, France. Lobanov, B. (1971) Classification of Russian vowels spoken by different speakers. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 49, 606–608. Major, R.C. (2007) Identifying a foreign accent in an unfamiliar language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 29 (4), 539–556. Messum, P. (2010) Understanding and teaching the English articulatory setting. Speak Out! IATEFL PronSIG Journal 43, 20–29. Messum, P. and Young, R. (2017) Bringing the English articulatory setting into the classroom: (1) the tongue. Speak Out! IATEFL PronSIG Journal 57, 29–39. Messum, P. and Young, R. (2019) Teaching the underlying systems of English pronunciation as motor skills. Speak Out! IATEFL PronSIG Journal 61, 18–31. O’Brien, M.G. (2014) L2 learners’ assessments of accentedness, fluency, and comprehensibility of native and nonnative German speech. Language Learning 64 (4), 715–748. Purcell, E.T. and Suter, R.W. (1980) Predictors of pronunciation accuracy: A reexamination. Language Learning 30 (2), 271–287. Rojczyk, A. (2015) Using FL accent imitation in L1 in foreign-language speech research. In E. Waniek-Klimczak and M. Pawlak (eds) Teaching and Researching the Pronunciation of English (pp. 223–233). Cham: Springer. Rojczyk, A. (2019) Quality and duration of unstressed vowels in Polish. Lingua 217, 80–89. Stoet, G. (2010) PsyToolkit – A software package for programming psychological experiments using Linux. Behavior Research Methods 42 (4), 1096–1104. Stoet, G. (2017) PsyToolkit: A novel web-based method for running online questionnaires and reaction-time experiments. Teaching of Psychology 44 (1), 24–31. Swan, M. and Smith, B. (eds). (2001) Learner English: A Teacher’s Guide to Interference and Other Problems (2nd edn). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sypianska, J. and Olender, A. (2016) Phonetic awareness in Polish learners of English. Poznań Working Papers in Linguistics 1 (1), 1–9. Thomas, E.R. and Kendall, T. (2007) NORM: The vowel normalization and plotting suite. See http://lingtools.uoregon.edu/norm/about_norm1. php#scaling/ (accessed 20 March 2020). Trofimovich, P. and Baker, W. (2006) Learning second-language suprasegmentals: Effect of L2 experience on prosody and fluency characteristics of L2 speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition 28, 1–30. Wilson, I. and Gick, B. (2014) Bilinguals use language-specific articulatory settings. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research 57 (2), 361–373. Yan, X. and Ginther, A. (2018) Listeners and raters: Similarities and differences in evaluation of accented speech. In O. Kang and A. Ginther (eds) Assessment in Second Language Pronunciation (pp. 67–88). New York: Routledge.

10 Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training Anastazija Kirkova-Naskova

Introduction

Over the years, numerous studies have examined the effects of pronunciation training on learners’ second language (L2) pronunciation, and the results suggest a positive influence of pronunciation training on modifying learners’ L2 perception and production (cf. critical overview in Lee et al., 2015; Thomson & Derwing, 2015). Yet, apart from a few notable instances (e.g. Sardegna, 2012, 2020), very little attention has been paid to learners’ experience with different training procedures. The goal of this study is to increase our understanding of the potential of perceptual training for pronunciation improvement by exploring learners’ views of one perceptual training approach, including their perceptions of the usefulness of specific perceptual teaching techniques and exercise formats. This chapter starts with an overview of research insights on the value of pronunciation instruction and pronunciation teaching techniques. It then describes the methodological aspects of the study: research question, participants, perceptual training approach and data collection and analysis. In the next sections, qualitative results are reported followed by a discussion of the findings. The chapter concludes with several suggestions for pronunciation pedagogy. Background Pronunciation instruction and teaching techniques

L2 learners demonstrate perceptual difficulties when categorising L2 sounds that are different (both similar and new) from their L1 sounds (Flege & Bohn, 2021). It is very likely that such perceptual challenges cause obstacles to L2 sound production resulting in foreign-accented speech. Nevertheless, this does not mean that learners are unable to accurately perceive sounds. In fact, learners have the sensory capacity to 134

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  135

modify their perceptual routines through language exposure and use (Strange & Shafer, 2008). Where the learning context is such that L2 is taught as a foreign language with little or no exposure to native pronunciation models, phonetic instruction can help in modifying learners’ pronunciation. Empirical evidence from studies that include pronunciation training highlight the potential of explicit phonetic instruction. Better performance outcomes are reported in studies where formal instruction included training in perception and production (Cenoz & García Lecumberri, 1999; Lee et al., 2020), or focused on strategy-based pronunciation training (Sardegna, 2012, 2022). Couper (2003) advocates for incorporating phonetic instruction in general English courses, arguing that, through support and positive reinforcement, learners develop awareness about their pronunciation errors, enhance their auditory memory and motor skills control, learn to focus on native-speaker speech and lower their affective filters. Explicit phonetic training improves learners’ intelligibility and comprehensibility of native-speaker speech resulting in better listening skills (Rasmussen & Zampini, 2010). Different types of instruction employ different teaching techniques that develop different aspects of pronunciation. Studies show that prosody-focused instruction yields better results in learners’ speech intelligibility and communicative performance and, therefore, should be prioritised in teaching (Derwing et al., 1998; Derwing & Rossiter, 2003; Gordon et al., 2013). However, when learners are expected to acquire native-like pronunciation, they should also be exposed to instruction focused on segmental accuracy as it directs their attention to phonetic form. Perceptual training (ear training) is a proven technique used for practising various pronunciation features, such as phoneme discrimination, stress placement, intonational patterns, L1-L2 sounds, or language varieties (Kirkova-Naskova, 2019). Recent research highlights the effectiveness of high variability phonetic/pronunciation training (HVPT) (see Thomson, 2018). HVPT focuses on perception practice through the use of numerous auditory stimuli, produced by multiple talkers, in varied phonetic contexts. It offers exposure to greater language variation with longlasting improvement results. The implications of phonological awareness (i.e. learner’s knowledge of L2 phonological structures and rules) to successful pronunciation have also been investigated. Venkatagiri and Levis (2007), for instance, examined the link between phonological awareness and speech comprehensibility and concluded that phonological awareness may be an important factor in predicting whether an L2 learner is more or less comprehensible; therefore, as they advise, it should be developed through form-focused instruction. Gómez-Lacabex and Gallardo-del-Puerto (2014) investigated the effect of three types of instruction (perceptual, articulatory and control group with native exposure) on the occurrence of schwa in an

136  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

unstressed position. Their findings confirm that controlled practice has a positive impact on raising learners’ perceptual awareness. Other aspects of phonetic instruction that deserve attention are critical listening and corrective feedback. Both techniques aim to raise learners’ awareness of how accurate their L2 speech is. Fraser (2006) argues that pronunciation is a cognitive skill that develops through practice and phonological concept formation. She recommends activities where learners record themselves and analyse their speech by contrasting it with a native speaker’s recording of the same content. Her claims are supported by findings from studies that tested the variables of critical listening and socially constructed metalanguage use for corrective feedback – both variables have been found to have a positive impact on phonological concept formation and, subsequently, on pronunciation learning (Couper, 2009). The effectiveness of giving corrective feedback has also been tested under various conditions, for instance, computer-assisted only vs. both computer-assisted and teacher feedback and their effect on vowel production improvement (Maeda, 2010), or the link between the type of corrective feedback (prompts, recasts, peer feedback) and pronunciation accuracy and fluency development (Sato & Lyster, 2012). Overall, research into pronunciation-focused corrective feedback shows that, despite being subject to individual variability, it facilitates the development of learner’ noticing skills resulting in both segmental and suprasegmental accuracy, and its potential is enhanced when L2 learners demonstrate sufficient phonetic knowledge, conversational practice and perceptual awareness of L2 sounds (cf. critical overview in Saito, 2021). To increase our understanding of the potential of perceptual training for pronunciation improvement, I explored the perspectives of Macedonian learners of English regarding a perceptual training approach on English front vowels /iː, ɪ, e, æ/. This investigation is part of a larger study that tested its effectiveness on both perception and production. Specifically, the current study attempts to answer the following research question: (1) What was EFL learners’ opinion of the usefulness of the different components of a perceptual training approach (i.e. explicit phonetic instruction, critical listening, perceptual practice and communicative practice) for learning the pronunciation of /iː, ɪ, e, æ/? Methodology Participants

A total of 31 participants (F = 26; M = 5) took part in the study. They were all Macedonian adult learners of English, of 19 (n = 13), 20 (n = 17) and 22 (n = 1) years old. All participants were second-year English-major students (teacher trainees n = 27; translator trainees n = 4). Their English language proficiency, tested before training, varied and demonstrated the

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  137

following proficiency levels according to CEFR (Council of Europe, 2001): B1 (n = 1), B2 (n = 20) and C1 (n = 10). The participants reported that their frequency of English language use was mainly limited to academic classes and social media. Perceptual training approach

The intervention combined phonetic and perceptual training on English front vowels /iː, ɪ, e, æ/ during a period of three weeks. Prior to training, participants were familiarised with all English phonemic symbols in six 45-minute sessions. They were also recorded reading dialogues with vocalic contrasts (Baker, 2006); the dialogues were later used as teaching materials in class. During the treatment phase which followed, participants received perceptual training in twelve 45-minute sessions with two goals in mind: (a) expose learners to good exemplars of authentic speech, and (b) raise their phonological awareness of English front vowels. The training itself focused on speech perception only (i.e. no production exercises were included nor practiced) and was adapted to the curriculum of an undergraduate course on English phonetics and phonology. In other words, the intervention was carried out in a classroom context. The researcher was also the instructor. The components of the perceptual training approach were as follows: (1) Explicit phonetic instruction of /iː, ɪ, e, æ/ (listen and analyse). (2) Critical listening (listen and compare). (3) Perceptual practice (listen and discriminate). (4) Communicative practice (listen and understand/think). Explicit phonetic instruction consisted of detailed multimodal presentations of the phonological features of English front vowels. Thus, explicit information was complemented with visual materials: pictures (vowel diagrams and a sagittal section of a head), videos from BBC Learning English1 with a native speaker demonstrating vowel articulation and use, and animations (movable lips). Critical listening involved analysis of participants’ dialogue recordings and their comparison to an authentic dialogue using three different approaches (see Table 10.1). Working as a group, participants did all three approaches with each approach employed once for a different vowel contrast: Approach #1 for /iː - ɪ/; Approach #2 for /ɪ - e/; and Approach #3 for /e - æ/. Perceptual practice aimed to enhance students’ discrimination skills. First, a corpus of minimal pair contrasts was created 2 and then stimulus materials were developed from audio recordings available in online dictionaries3. Such auditory training stimuli included numerous samples with vowels in varied phonetic contexts produced by multiple talkers (male and

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Table 10.1  Critical listening: An overview of approaches for analysing participants’ recordings Approach

Step 1 LISTEN (authentic and participants’ recordings)

Step 2 EVALUATE (compare and contrast the recordings)

Step 3 CORRECTIVE FEEDBACK (given by peer or teacher)

#1

Group listening Participants’ names revealed

Joint evaluation No instruction

Joint discussion of pron. errors Peer feedback (general/ individual)

#2

Group listening No participants’ names revealed

Individual selfevaluation No instruction

Joint discussion of pron. errors Peer feedback (general)

#3

Group listening No participants’ names revealed

Individual selfevaluation Written instruction

No discussion Written feedback by the teacher

Table 10.2  Perceptual exercises Type

Exercise

Description

A

Minimal pair: Same or different

10 recordings; 10 different minimal pairs Words are pronounced by different talkers. Students decide whether the two words they hear are the same or different.

B

Minimal pair: Word recognition 1

One recording with a word sequence; minimal pairs on a sheet Words are pronounced by different talkers. Students circle the word they hear.

C

Minimal pair: Word recognition 2

Six recordings, each focused on one of six minimal pairs Words are pronounced by different talkers. Students can see the pair on a sheet and circle the word they hear.

D

Word sequence: Vowel recognition

One recording with a sequence of different words Words are pronounced by different talkers. Students listen and decide which word contains the target vowel.

E

Word sequence: AXB

Three-sequence word recordings Words are pronounced by different talkers. Students decide whether X is same as A or B (X = A, X = B).

female speakers of different ages and origins). These stimuli were used in various types of exercises described in Table 10.2. Activities with minimal pairs used in a sentence context were also incorporated. Communicative practice focused also on perception – the students were not expected to produce speech but to listen, think and process what they heard when working in pairs or small groups. Two types of activities were incorporated: games and authentic TED talks (https://www.ted. com/talks). The games included quizzes and maps. After listening to the motivational TED talks, students completed activities that focused on the four vowels.

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  139

Data collection and analysis

Qualitative data was collected through interviews conducted in Macedonian 10 days after the training. The interview questions were semistructured and scripted (Richards, 2003). They were grouped into five categories consisting of specific questions related to each component of the perceptual training approach (see Figure 10.1 in Appendix 10.1). During the interviews, the researcher also asked unscripted questions following the participants’ responses. Each interview lasted 20 minutes on average. The interviews were recorded in a language lab with the computer software Audacity 2.0.6. (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), transcribed, translated into English by the author, and then coded (M01 – M31; M = Macedonian). Care was taken to translate participants’ comments as close to the original as possible even if that meant leaving ungrammatical sentences. A qualitative content analysis was conducted based on participants’ responses, which were categorised according to differences and similarities (Dörnyei, 2007). In addition, field notes were kept after each class. These noted students’ reactions and remarks to particular activities. Results

Participants generally expressed positive comments about the perceptual training approach they received. This overall sentiment is best exemplified by a remark made by M23: I didn’t know something like this could be so useful. (M23)

First, with respect to the component of phonetic instruction, as many as 25 participants (81%) remarked that the visual materials helped them understand vowel formation and duration, face musculature and expression, and speech organ position. Their comments underscored the important role of visual materials in enhancing their learning experience and raising their awareness of the English front vowels: Knowing theory is of no use if you don’t have a picture in front of you. This way you can create an image or a concept and then you can practice on your own. (M06) It’s different when you see it and then you try to pronounce it to compare it, you adapt your mouth; in a way, you become conscious how to pronounce it. (M18) You can stop the video to check the position of the lips and tongue, how it stretches or contracts; that was really educational. (M28)

Some participants made specific comments about the videos in relation to the perceptual exercises: 16 reported that they would think of the

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presenter when doing the perceptual exercises or when practicing at home; 3 mentioned that they paid more attention to the auditory characteristics of the vowel and that the videos were not very useful to them. Many participants (68%) approved of the phonetic explanations for each vowel given by the teacher, finding them useful for distinguishing between English and Macedonian vowels and a valuable repetition of points previously presented in the videos or explained with the vowel diagram: I think giving explanation is very important, especially with the diagram, how the tongue is positioned. At first, it wasn’t really clear but with practice and repetition, I started to understand the diagrams. (M24)

As for preferences regarding type of presentation, participants opted for videos (n = 24; 78%), videos followed by the teacher’s explanation (n = 4; 13%) and a combination of videos, animations and diagrams (n = 1; 3%). Two participants were indecisive. Second, participants’ views of the critical listening component were varied, which was not surprising given that they had no prior experience with such exercises. Positive reflections included feeling relaxed throughout the exercise (n = 10), being skeptical at first but then relaxed (n = 3) or focusing only on their mispronunciations (n = 6). Negative reflections included feeling uneasy and unable to concentrate on mispronunciations when they listened to their own voice, which resulted in negative psychological effects, such as a strong feeling of embarrassment about others hearing their voice (n = 13), inability to recognise their voices (n = 10), or dislike of their voice quality as it sounded unnatural (n = 4). Based on class observations, such feelings directly influenced their successful engagement in the activity: they were distracted, unable to hear their pronunciation errors, and unhelpful during group discussions; in a word, precious class time was lost before group dynamics consolidated. Only after overcoming the initial discomfort, participants seemed to understand the value of the exercise and become more open to constructive criticism. As their classmates’ opinions became more helpful and specific, some participants changed their attitudes towards peer feedback and started to pay more attention to their mistakes, as evidenced in the following comment: Maybe it was unpleasant at first because we didn’t know each other, but I understand the point of it and by listening to my recording I realized I made mistakes. Most of us think we speak English well, but by listening to ourselves and others, I know where I stand now. That was useful. (M29)

Participants’ preferred approach to analysing their speech differed. Two participants thought all three approaches (see Table 10.1) were useful. Six participants opted for Approach #1 (group listening, participants’ names

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  141

revealed, joint evaluation, peer feedback), arguing that it helped them be better focused, get comments from several learners and understand their most striking pronunciation errors. Three participants preferred Approach #2 (group listening, participants’ names not revealed, individual self-evaluation, peer feedback). They reasoned that, in this way, negative criticism was avoided – with no names revealed, learners were more susceptible to accepting their peers’ comments. One valid point they mentioned was that not everyone was capable of evaluating their own pronunciation. The remaining 20 participants (65%) preferred Approach #3 (group listening, no participants’ names, instructed individual self-evaluation, written teacher feedback). They observed that this approach was the most useful because it required them to focus intently on noticing segments. Many referred to the teacher’s expertise to evaluate their pronunciation and give feedback, because of being trained to do that (M15) and for being more competent to evaluate with precision, which is time-saving (M05). When asked whether they would accept feedback from a peer rather than a teacher, those who were reluctantly in favour of it (n = 5) stated that they would accept any feedback from peers they knew (even if they had poor pronunciation) or from a classmate that had a perceived better pronunciation. The remaining participants either reiterated their preference for teacher feedback only (n = 6) or chose not to comment (n = 20). Based on notes regarding participants’ in-class behaviour, Approach #1 seemed to appeal to those who concentrated better, valued peer feedback and favoured cooperative tasks resulting in group conclusions; Approach #2 appeared to be preferred by learners who avoided criticism and failed to evaluate themselves; and Approach #3 was favoured by learners who wished to be evaluated and informed about their pronunciation. Overall, regardless of their preferences, it appeared that critical listening was a positive learning experience for all the participants. Third, participants’ views of the perceptual practice component were encouraging. More than half of the participants (n = 19; 61%) found all of the exercises interesting, useful for noticing vocalic differences, and a positive challenge. The following comment is an illustration of such a viewpoint: I really liked the exercises. I think each type had its own purpose. Those with different speakers, same word, but you have to contrast two vowels, it was all about the vowel, the difference between two similar vowels. The others with gaps, you could hear the word and the vowels - those were interesting and important. Or, the exercise with three [words], is X same as A or B, sometimes we could recognise the different vowel. I liked that we could hear different speakers. (M24)

Seven participants reported mixed reactions – they found the exercises overall useful, but some of them more difficult than expected. Five participants expressed disapproving views – they found the exercises frustrating

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when the words were pronounced too fast, or they found them monotonous and boring when the exercise was too long. With respect to the types of exercises (see Table 10.2), 9 participants (29%) preferred exercise type C (‘same word, different speakers’), and 10 (32%) chose type E (‘AXB’). For the former, they argued that word repetition by different speakers helped them focus on the vowel only. For the latter, they observed that, although they liked it, the AXB exercise was very challenging as it required intense concentration, and some words were too difficult to understand. The other exercise types were preferred by fewer participants: A (n = 1), B (n = 4) and D (n = 2). Some participants could not single out a preferred exercise; instead, they opted for a combination of two choices, for example, types B and C (M13), types C and E (M15, M29) and/or types D and E (M22). One participant did not answer (M26). Finally, almost all participants (97%) found the communicative practice component appealing. The games were seen as a fun element and a fresh change compared to the perceptual exercises; nonetheless, few comments were made in the interviews. In contrast, the authentic talks prompted more responses. For example, M12 and M18 noted that the topics appealed to them on a personal level because they were age-appropriate and relevant for their prospective profession; M10 and M15 found the native presenters attention-grabbing; and M29 stated that the content of the talks was educational for the participants. As for pronunciation, the authentic talks made it easier for the participants to notice differences between British and American English. Only one participant (M21) did not approve of the authentic talks due to personal difficulty to understand the native speakers. Almost half of the participants pointed out that they found it confusing and rather difficult to understand the native speakers when instructed to complete the follow-up exercises. One may argue that despite the fact that the level of their grammatical competence was satisfactory, these EFL students appeared not to be used to listening to authentic speech. The 15 participants who seemed not to have any difficulties understanding the talks noted that sometimes they could not complete the exercises promptly as they were more interested in learning about the content of the talk. In sum, participants’ overall impression of the perceptual training approach was positive as most concluded that it was useful for learning how to improve their pronunciation of English front vowels. In fact, 13 (42%) stated they believed they could discriminate the vowels better after the training. However, this newly-experienced alertness should not be confused for improvement as participants could not easily assess whether their pronunciation improved or not. In fact, all but one reported being more aware that they should improve their pronunciation. The following comment exemplifies this impression: It’s better to some degree I guess, but once you become aware of certain aspects, you strive to improve them. (M18)

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  143

Apart from raised awareness about the phonology of English front vowels and increased self-awareness about their pronunciation, 3 participants also noted increased sensitivity to British vs. American English. Finally, when asked whether they were aware of their own pronunciation errors and the errors their peers made, their views were divided: 10 reported being more aware of others’ pronunciation errors, 9 believed they were more aware of their own pronunciation errors, 8 expressed being equally aware of their own and others’ mispronunciations, and 4 reported not being aware. When asked which component they found the most useful, 5 participants gave no response, and 4 participants preferred a combined approach with the four components complementing each other. The remaining participants opted for perceptual practice as the most useful component (n = 14; 45%), followed by critical listening (n = 4; 13%), phonetic instruction with video materials (n = 3; 10%) and authentic talks (n = 1; 3%). The perceptual exercises were regarded as a new approach that helped with sound discrimination. Those favouring critical listening emphasised the necessity of hearing one’s own mistakes. As one participant highlighted: When you hear yourself, and the mistakes you make, only then you know how much practice you need, what exactly you have to pay attention to. (M29)

When asked whether they would change anything about the perceptual training approach, the majority (84%) replied they would not; M03 advised that the perceptual exercises should be faster and more difficult, M17 recommended longer breaks between the words, M30 suggested authentic talks with native speakers speaking more slowly, M18 proposed listening to the talks first and then completing the exercises, and M16 posited that critical listening should not be included. Also, most participants (74%) reported that the training was carefully organised and surpassed their expectations. Contrary to this view, the rest recommended more student interaction, phonemic transcription practice and production practice. Further recommendations included developing lists of commonly mispronounced words, and offering practice with sentence repetition, individual correction or conversations. Discussion

Our research question concerned participants’ opinions regarding the different components of the perceptual training approach. With respect to the phonetic instruction component, the results show that participants favoured visual materials and detailed teacher explanations as they helped them better understand theoretical concepts and compare L1–L2 vowel differences. The use of visual materials in phonetic instruction supports

144  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

current teaching trends. Hardison (2012), for instance, emphasises the importance of facial expression when processing speech and turns our attention to new technologies and visual platforms that have shifted focus from the dominant auditive modality to audio-visual modalities, such as videos and computer/phone applications. The participants in this study preferred videos. Based on their comments, these teaching materials offered a realistic picture of what was being taught, the abstract concepts became tangible, and the effect was educational. In line with McCrocklin (2012), videos raised learners’ phonological awareness about the distinctive features of English vowels. As for detailed teacher explanations, such preference is also in line with the overarching view of the teacher as an important factor in the learning process (Fraser, 2006; Pennington, 2015) – the teacher facilitates the development of learners’ functional communicability, increases their self-confidence and encourages them to start caring about their own pronunciation. To conclude, videos only or teacher explanations only are not sufficient for presenting new pronunciation structures; it is the combination of these two approaches that learners favoured because they complement each other; rules are repeated; hence, learning is more successful. Participants’ self-reports regarding the usefulness of the critical listening component revealed that they understood its overall benefits. Unexpectedly, hearing their own voice caused profound anxiety; yet, once they got used to the format of the activity, participants experienced its positive effects: by comparing their own speech to the speech of native speakers and their classmates, each participant could reflect on their L2 pronunciation. In his research, Couper (2009) arrives at the same conclusion. His respondents also highlighted the benefit of this teaching technique because it allowed them to hear the difference between what they thought they had pronounced, what they actually pronounced, and how they should pronounce it. With regard to the preferred approach to analysing speech, our participants valued Approach #3 as the most useful, which indicates that they relied on teacher feedback more than on peer feedback. In fact, the attempt to encourage learners to give peer feedback proved ineffective. The explanation may be connected to the specific nature of pronunciation as a language skill, which, according to the participants, requires a high level of expertise from the assessor. The reasons reported against such activities included distrust in peers’ linguistic competence or indifference to pronunciation errors resulting in casual comments. Similar findings are reported in Dlaska and Krekeler (2008): even highly experienced learners have difficulties evaluating pronunciation. A possible solution is offered by Sato and Lyster (2012), who believe that learners should be trained first to give corrective feedback. This way, they learn how to foster the acquisition of new knowledge or strengthen already acquired knowledge (Lyster et al., 2013). Nevertheless, Fraser (2006) considers that the critical listening technique yields effective results no matter what approach is undertaken

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  145

because it enables learners to bridge the gap between their cognitive/ unconscious knowledge and their actual physical capabilities. To summarise, critical listening may not have proved entirely successful, but it did prompt learners’ awareness of their own pronunciation errors. The analysis of participants’ responses shows that participants considered the perceptual practice useful, but not entirely interesting. They either regarded it as a positive challenge (especially for the motivated and proficient learners) or a cause for frustration and difficulty (mainly for the less proficient learners). In particular, the two types of minimal pair exercises which they felt were most beneficial were word recognition and AXB; the latter was also regarded as the most difficult. It is precisely exposure to multiple native speakers that proved to be the most positive experience as it helped them adapt to speaker variation, required greater concentration, and developed their sensitivity to subtle vocalic differences. These results echo findings from studies on high variability phonetic/pronunciation training (e.g. Lively et al., 1993; Ortega et al., 2021; Thomson, 2018). Furthermore, the results indicate that conventional minimal pair exercises are well accepted by learners, despite arguments that their frequent use is not linguistically justified as mispronouncing any of the members rarely causes misunderstanding (Levis & Cortes, 2008). Bearing this in mind, it can be inferred that perceptual activities with minimal pairs practiced in different exercise formats are the most useful when the aim of the exercise is to direct the learner’s attention to sound discrimination only and not to word meaning. Results also indicate approval for the use of authentic talks for communicative practice. Participants found these exercises interest-provoking and helpful as they adjusted to rapid speech. Such results are in line with research conducted by Cauldwell (2013), who argues that listening to authentic speech helps learners get used to the sound substance and connected speech processes, resulting in learners’ comprehension of utterance meaning. However, the participants approached these exercises as listening comprehension tasks, i.e. they found it more relevant to understand what the speaker was saying rather than focusing on the proper pronunciation and discrimination of the front vowels targeted for instruction. Therefore, it appears that the sequence ‘sound discrimination → meaning’ does not follow that order, as suggested by Cauldwell. Finally, the overall findings from this study reveal a general feeling of improvement and the ability to identify mispronunciations. It appears that the acquired knowledge resulted in raised awareness that pronunciation is a skill crucial to successful communication. Such reasoning is consistent with the intelligibility principle vis-à-vis the nativeness principle: learners should aim to achieve a fair degree of accurate pronunciation that will allow them to be comfortably intelligible (Levis, 2018). Though all components were appreciated as beneficial, the perceptual practice component was singled out as the most useful. A possible explanation that can

146  Part 3: Practical Perspectives and Research Findings

account for such preference is the varied format of the exercises which appealed to the participants. Unsurprisingly, the need for more speech production, student interaction and individual correction was pointed out as the type of activities that participants identified as lacking. In other words, the participants did not feel that exposure to perception only was sufficient; such an outcome is in support of current approaches to pronunciation teaching and learning (Pennington & Rogerson-Revell, 2019; Sardegna, 2022). Nevertheless, the training was seen as having a positive effect on participants’ perception. In summary, the qualitative analysis suggested participants’ increased sensitivity to their pronunciation errors resulted in a general feeling of raised awareness and concern for their own L2 speech. Furthermore, the perceptual training was evaluated favourably with a preference for AXB minimal pair activities, critical listening practice and individual corrective teacher feedback from the teacher. A few limitations need to be mentioned. Given that the researcher was also the instructor, the participants might have been tempted to present a more favourable image of themselves even though care was taken for maximum objectivity. The specific institutional context may also be seen as restrictive. Further investigations are needed to test whether such type of training is effective in different teaching/learning contexts. Pedagogical Implications

The findings of the present study give valuable insights into learners’ personal beliefs and expectations. They are particularly relevant for teachers as they can be encouraged to include more activities for pronunciation practice. Taken together, these findings suggest some useful guidelines for teachers: • Explicit instruction with a focus on L2 phonetics appears to raise learners’ phonological awareness. • Exposing learners to authentic speech with high variability stimuli (different speakers, situations or native/nonnative varieties) and training them on how to critically listen to and then evaluate their L2 speech tends to enhance learners’ noticing skills. • To change learners’ attitudes towards their pronunciation skills, pronunciation learning should be individualised and supported with corrective feedback. Pronunciation can be modified with consistent practice. Teaching students strategies for self-evaluation and self-correction may help them become autonomous learners (Sardegna 2012, 2020, 2022). Providing practice inside and outside the classroom could be done through

Learners’ Views on the Usefulness of L2 Perceptual Training  147

computer/phone-assisted applications, by using tools such as audio recording software or video-sharing social networks. Conclusion

This classroom study aimed to perform a qualitative evaluation of a perceptual training approach for improving English front vowels. The participants were interviewed post training, and their views were analysed. The results revealed one important finding: while the participants were unaware of their English pronunciation prior to training, they became more self-critical of it post training. They demonstrated enhanced phonological awareness about the English front vowels and reported increased confidence in their ability to discriminate between them. They also showed a growing interest in improving their own pronunciation skills. Finally, they expressed that exposure to multiple speakers and good exemplars of authentic speech helped improve their comprehension of rapid speech and their ability to distinguish between different English varieties. Acknowledgements

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Alice Henderson for her valuable insights on earlier drafts of this chapter. I am also exceptionally grateful to the editors Veronica Sardegna and Anna Jarosz for their constructive feedback and passionate commitment. Notes (1) http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/language/ (2) http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/wordscape/wordlist/minimal.html (3) http://dictionary.cambridge.org/, http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/, http://www.macmillandictionary.com/, http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english

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Appendix 10.1: Interview Questions

Figure 10.1  Interview questions

11 Pronunciation and Intelligibility in EnglishMedium Instruction (EMI): Lecturers’ Views and Skills Esther Gómez-Lacabex and Francisco Gallardo-del-Puerto

Introduction

As a result of the growth of English in education and internationalisation, the increase of English-Medium Instruction (EMI) programmes in Europe is now a consolidated trend (Valcke & Wilkinson, 2017). Amongst the current concerns under foci are the accommodation strategies required so that students can cope with the additional cognitive load derived from learning in a second/foreign language (Roussel et al., 2017). It is also a fact that English is a second/foreign language for most EMI teachers, and these professionals’ concern about their ability to fully interact, deliver content and/or establish rapport with their students when teaching in English has emerged in various survey studies (Clark, 2018; Doiz et al., 2019; Lasagabaster & Pagèze, 2017). In addition, it is widely known that accents trigger different attitudes and reactions. We know that teachers’ perception of their own foreign accents may diminish their confidence in teaching (Henderson, 2019) and that others’ perception of teachers’ foreign accents may extend to negative evaluations of teaching quality (Hendriks et al., 2018) and even credibility (Lev-Ari & Keysar, 2010). The lack of institutional support has also been noted (Briggs et al., 2018) and, consequently, several actions have been put forward to cater for these professionals, explore their views and needs and provide support frameworks (Valcke & Wilkinson, 2017). Our investigation is part of a project that examined a collaboration between EMI lecturers and language lecturers at two universities in northern Spain. One of the main objectives of this collaboration was to provide specific language support based on identified linguistic challenges for EMI teachers, and eventually conceptualise a framework that targets content and language objectives (Lasagabaster, 151

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2018). We have contributed to this larger project by exploring the pronunciation component. After reviewing relevant literature, this chapter presents two studies conducted with EMI professionals belonging to two universities in northern Spain – the University of Cantabria and the University of the Basque Country. Study 1 explores the perceptions of seven EMI professionals regarding their pronunciation skills and their desires and efforts to improve them, as well as their opinions about the relevance of having good English pronunciation for their careers. Study 2 examines the intelligibility of one of these professionals during a lecture strategy (read aloud) before, during and after a pronunciation tutorial that focused on how to signal pause, lexical stress and linking in English. The chapter concludes with a discussion about the implications of the findings for EMI teachers and teacher educators. Background EMI lecturers’ views on pronunciation

Lecturers seem to be at the crossroads between the fast spread of internationalisation in tertiary education (Valke & Wilkinson, 2017) and a shift in their expertise and professional value, which may become an asset or a hindrance depending on whether they can speak English. Those who do not  reach the linguistic competence required by their institutions may ­experience distress and even failure (Dimova, 2017). Those who do reach it have been asked to convert their courses into EMI courses and have repeatedly reported being concerned about their communication skills during ­lectures. Poor communication skills in English can reduce rapport with ­students and generate a feeling of insecurity among these professionals (Doiz et al., 2019). Furthermore, EMI programmes require lecturers not only with optimal English language skills but also with the pedagogical skills needed to compensate for the additional cognitive load that their ­students face when learning in another language (Lasagabaster & Pagèze, 2017). Such pedagogy intends to support classroom communication and content learning and requires a revision/update of communication skills. Consequently, pronunciation does not go unnoticed in EMI. It has been shown to be one of the major concerns of EMI lecturers, who frequently report not being able to produce certain words (Doiz et al., 2013) and being worried about their ‘poor’ pronunciation skills (Clark, 2018). In addition, EMI teachers with a heavier accent are often evaluated less positively by their students (Hendriks et al., 2018). In fact, EMI students have also indicated that ‘good’ pronunciation is important for a good lecture (Clark, 2018). Accordingly, Lasagabaster and Pagèze (2017) have reported that intensive English pronunciation courses were usually found amongst the most useful support courses for EMI lecturers in France.

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Several studies have identified that EMI teachers are eager to experience a shift in their perception of their language skills, to implement resources to boost classroom communication skills (Lasagabaster & Pagéze, 2017) and to experience collaboration programmes with language experts (Doiz et al., 2019). This chapter contributes to these efforts by exploring EMI teachers’ views on these issues within the realm of pronunciation. EMI lecturers’ intelligibility

Students often find it challenging to listen to lectures when there are intervening language factors. For example, some second language (L2) listeners may find it hard to process the more linguistically and cognitively demanding speech of a native-speaker lecturer (Thompson, 2003), while others might find accented speech distracting, which could also affect their comprehension of the lecture (Lev-Ari & Keysar, 2010). As tertiary education becomes ever more internationalised with student and lecturer mobility on the increase, such significant contact with different English accents is bringing along new perspectives, including the claim that academic English is not always produced by native English speakers (Klitgård, 2011). Furthermore, the development of EMI pedagogy has brought about the incorporation of numerous strategies that can help students cope with the added load of having to deal with learning specific content in their L2 English while listening to the accented speech of the lecturer. Amongst these, the most common pedagogical strategies used by EMI professionals include group work, discussion groups, case analyses and using handouts and glossaries to support instruction actions (Costa, 2016). As for discourse strategies during lectures, the most frequently reported are exploiting discourse markers (signposting), repeating, paraphrasing, slowing down speech pace, hyperaticulating keywords and intonational changes (Costa, 2016), as well as using the first language (L1) (Rose & Galloway, 2019). In addition, research on L2 pronunciation has shown that intelligibility does not necessarily correlate with foreign accent (Derwing & Munro, 2015) and that the speech perception system is flexible, with native listeners having been found to adapt to foreign-accented speech successfully (Bradlow & Bent, 2008). Finally, sociopsychological approaches to the study of foreign accents indicate that accented speech may be a discrimination factor, such as speakers with a foreign accent having been associated with a lower social status (Brennan & Brennan, 1981), provoking less affective responses (Bresnahan et al., 2002) or sounding less truthful to native and non-native listeners (Hanzlíková & Skarnitzl, 2017). Moreover, extra-linguistic attitudes have been shown to become activated when evaluating foreign accent, as in Rubin and Smith (1990), who revealed that instructor ethnicity or lecture topic were found to influence university students’

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comprehension of non-native lecturers. Consequently, research on pronunciation has recently shifted attention toward the listener/interlocutor (Derwing, 2010) and interprets intelligibility as a bidirectional phenomenon in which two actors, speaker and listener, participate (Zielinski, 2008) and in which both, not only the speaker, can be educated or guided along specific characteristics of accented speech (Derwing et al., 2002) or along sociocultural aspects (Derwing et al., 2002; Fraser, 2011). Few studies have looked into the effects of lecturers’ pronunciation in EMI. Henderson and Skarnitzl (2017) trained six EMI L1 French lecturers by manipulating stress-related durational aspects towards a golden speaker – that is, by modifying the lecturers’ own voices using the digital speech synthesiser Psola. These lecturers were able to identify and imitate some features after brief awareness sessions and applied some to a new read-aloud task. Valcke and Pavón (2016) examined the pronunciation of four EMI French/Italian lecturers before and after their attendance at a four-hour general pronunciation course. Pronunciation improvement was explored by means of students’ (i.e. listeners’) responses to a questionnaire distributed before and after the teachers took the pronunciation course. The students tended to judge Time 2 as more intelligible. These two preliminary studies seem to indicate that EMI professionals are eager and able to make pronunciation changes, which should go in the direction of improving the communication, comprehensibility and intelligibility required in this specific teaching-learning context. Our Investigation

Based on the aforementioned research, we conducted two small-case studies to explore EMI lecturers’ views, desires and practices regarding English pronunciation, and assess the efficacy of the pronunciation component in the above mentioned project between EMI and language lecturers. Specifically, the main goal of Study 1 was to elicit EMI lecturers’ opinions regarding different pronunciation teaching approaches and their pronunciation teaching practices. The main goal of Study 2 was to assess the effects of a pronunciation awareness training intervention that we conducted with one of the EMI teachers. The next sections describe the two studies in more detail. Study 1: A Survey of EMI Lecturers’ Pronunciation Views and Practices Methodology

The seven EMI lecturers (female = 1, male = 6) that volunteered for this study worked for two different universities in the north of Spain and taught EMI courses in History and Economics degrees. They were all L1

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Spanish speakers with at least a C1 level of English proficiency (Council of Europe, 2001). As part of the collaborative project, these lecturers were asked to complete a questionnaire during one of the pronunciation awareness sessions that were offered during the project. The questionnaire included two open-ended questions (a, b) used as ice-breakers, 14 Likertscale items (1 = strongly disagree; 6 = strongly agree) (c), and three extension questions (d–f) (see Appendix 11.1). The questionnaire items were adapted from previous work (Kang, 2015; Nowacka, 2012) and piloted with a group of 12 students. The consistency of the scale was measured with a larger sample pool (N = 68), and a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.67 was obtained. The extension questions aimed at gathering more detail regarding the actions participants took in order to improve their pronunciation skills, the reasons why they thought English pronunciation is difficult to learn, and their confidence rate on specific aspects of English pronunciation. The first two extension questions gave an ‘others’ option. Descriptive statistics were computed on the questionnaire items, and the responses to the extended questions were analysed qualitatively. Results and discussion

Table 11.1 displays the Mean, Mode and Standard Deviation values for the six-point Likert scale items, organised according to four main topics: (a) participants’ pronunciation self-awareness (three items), (b) participants’ beliefs regarding the relevance of having a good English pronunciation (three items), (c) participants’ desire to improve their pronunciation skills (three items) and (d) participants’ opinions regarding actions for pronunciation improvement (five items). As for pronunciation self-awareness, the teachers tended to agree with the statements in this category (Mean = 4.86). Their responses showed that these professionals exhibited relatively high confidence in their pronunciation skills (Item 1) and their ability to identify English accents (Item 2). Arguably, this high self-awareness may be representative of the C1 level they must have to be able to teach in EMI programmes at their institutions. Furthermore, two teachers strongly agreed and five agreed that it is difficult to have good English pronunciation skills (Item 13). In response to the extended questions, the teachers selected the following reasons to explain why they found English difficult: English has a lot of new and difficult sounds (3), my teachers did not evaluate my pronunciation (2), my teachers did not correct my pronunciation (1) and my teachers were nonnative speakers (1). The item ‘I have never been taught pronunciation’ received no check marks. Two teachers indicated additional reasons under ‘others’: ‘I do not frequently speak English’ and ‘it is difficult to have a native-like pronunciation while learning a language as an adult’. Both reasons resonate with the renowned unfavourable effect of age on adult language learning (Andrew, 2012).

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Table 11.1 Mean, mode and standard deviations (SD) of ratings (1 = strongly disagree; 2 = disagree; 3 = moderately disagree; 4 = moderately agree; 5 = agree and 6 = strongly agree) Item

Statement

Mean

Mode

SD

Pronunciation self-awareness

4.86

5

.62

1

I am confident with my English pronunciation.

4.57

5

.54

2

I can recognise different accents in English.

4.86

5

.90

I think it is difficult to have good English pronunciation.

5.17

5

.41

Relevance of pronunciation

5.31

5

.76

3

I believe that pronunciation is important when I communicate with native speakers of English.

5.29

5

.76

4

I believe that pronunciation is important when I communicate with non-native speakers of English.

5.14

5

.69

I believe I need good English pronunciation skills in my career.

5.50

6

.84

13

14

Desire to improve pronunciation skills

5.36

5

.63

6

I would like to sound like a native speaker of English when I speak English.

4.57

4

.98

5

I want to have good English pronunciation.

5.67

6

.52

7

I would like to improve my English pronunciation.

5.86

6

.38

Actions to improve pronunciation

5.39

5

.58

10

I believe that I am improving my pronunciation while teaching courses in English.

5.33

5

.52

11

I try to improve my English pronunciation.

5.67

6

.52

8

I believe I would need explicit instruction to improve my English pronunciation.

5.29

5

.76

9

I believe I could improve my English pronunciation in a non-instructed way.

5.00

5

.63

I enjoy it when I am trying to improve my English pronunciation.

5.67

6

.51

12

Additionally, the informants rated their confidence level (6 = very confident; 1 = not confident at all) on a set of English pronunciation aspects. The responses obtained did not show much variance. They reported feeling slightly less positive about vowel sounds (3.6) and slightly more positive about intonation (4.3) and comprehension (4.3); they rated the remaining aspects rather averagely: consonant sounds (4.0), consonant clusters (4.0), word stress (4.0) and fluency (4.0). This similitude in mean scores may be revealing that these speakers were not able to distinguish the different pronunciation features in terms of self-confidence. Such an outcome may be connected with the fact that these teachers mainly developed their English-speaking skills via contact with native speakers and informal exposure and much less via formal instruction. The lack of formal attention to specific pronunciation features while developing the

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target language may be the reason why the teachers seemed not to be able to reflect on and/or rate the features separately. The teachers also exhibited a high agreement when it came to the relevance of pronunciation (Mean = 5.31), which corroborates previous work indicating that EMI teachers are concerned about pronunciation and its importance (Henderson, 2019). Five teachers strongly agreed, one agreed and one moderately agreed that good pronunciation skills are required in their profession (Item 14), evidencing acknowledgement of this language aspect. Besides, these informants did not exhibit a different response pattern when asked about the relevance of pronunciation on account of the interlocutor background (native/non-native speaker; Items 3 and 4). Interestingly, these professionals did not seem to think that better pronunciation is most important when interacting with a native speaker – that is, a view related to the traditional hegemony of the native speaker model in language learning (Murphy, 2014). Recently, there have been conscious efforts to unseat the native-speaker dominance in English language learning, especially considering that English is rapidly being incorporated into educational systems worldwide (Macaro, 2015) and that most of the English language teaching work is carried out by nonnative speakers (Canagarajah, 1999). Participants’ responses may be revealing that EMI teaching contexts such as the one under study may already be conquering such hegemony as the study participants seemed ready to adopt international academic English and to welcome different accents (although now we realise we should have also incorporated a statement regarding speakers with the same L1 in our questionnaire). Future research might want to explore the opinions of EMI teachers regarding L2 speakers sharing the same L1, which is of common occurrence in EMI contexts. Furthermore, the teachers exhibited clear attitudes when asked about their wish to improve their English pronunciation skills (Mean = 5.36). Six reported a strong wish to improve their pronunciation skills. Upon inspecting their responses to Items 5 (wishing to have good English pronunciation) and 6 (wishing to sound like a native speaker), we noted that their answers tended to correlate inversely (r = −.50; p < .001) as five participants strongly agreed with Item 5 and five participants moderately agreed with Item 6. Although the range of answers does not include disagree points, we may consider these results as possibly indicating a tendency to dissociate ‘good’ from ‘native-like’ pronunciation, which we have also observed with EMI students (Gómez-Lacabex & Gallardo-del-Puerto, 2021). This is a trend not found in previous pronunciation surveys with other learner profiles, such as with learners in ESL contexts (Kang, 2015), linguistics and English studies tertiary students (Nowacka, 2012), primary and secondary Spanish EFL students (Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2009) and tertiary Spanish EFL learners (CalvoBenzies, 2013).

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Table 11.2  Actions taken to improve English pronunciation EMI lecturer

Talk with a native speaker

Stay abroad (months)

Watch films/ series

Stream media

Use pron. dictionary

1



 (24)







2



 (6)















 

3 4 5



 (3)



6



 (24)



7

 (1)



Use pron. app

Attend pron. course







The informants further indicated that they actively tried to improve their pronunciation (Mean = 5.67), with the large majority believing they were successful in doing so while teaching their EMI courses (Mean = 5.33). They also stated that they enjoyed working on their pronunciation skills (Mean = 5.67). Interestingly, one of the actions mostly reported to improve pronunciation (see Table 11.2) was ‘Stay abroad’, which for most was likely to refer to an action taken prior to the EMI experience. Participants also acknowledged improvement via exposure, mainly using technology for entertainment (watching films, series) or using streaming media (international news, internet, specific audio-visual material, etc.) and establishing contact with native speakers. With respect to study aids and formal instruction, more than half of the participants reported using pronunciation dictionaries while pronunciation apps or phonetic courses were the least reported actions. These data depict a speaker profile with little pronunciation training background and with speaking skills grounded on exposure and contact with other English speakers. In addition, the lecturers reported very similar responses on the need for explicit pronunciation guidance (Item 8) and learning opportunities in non-instructed environments (Item 9), showing a slight tendency for the explicit mode. There are two possible explanations for this outcome: (a) the teachers may not have been able to identify a preferred form of learning because they had not been exposed to pronunciation-instructed learning; and (b) the similar responses could be revealing the eclectic nature of pronunciation learning as it is indeed a language aspect that may require formal (via phonetic and pronunciation courses, for example) and natural (via exposure and contact) forms of learning. In the case of the study participants, it is clear that they had developed their pronunciation skills by means of the natural route, via contact and exposure, to become C1 speakers. However, they also seemed to appreciate equally a more explicit approach to pronunciation. We could interpret their wish for formal instruction in line with their willingness to progress by incorporating

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more descriptive and explicit tools to improve their communication skills (Lasagabaster & Pagèze, 2017). Study 2: An EMI Lecturer’s Intelligibility Methodology

Although four out of the seven EMI instructors participated in pronunciation training sessions during the year, this section reports findings in relation to one EMI instructor. This decision was mostly based on space limitations to describe all four cases and the fact that the training was tailored to their pronunciation and instructional needs (and, therefore, the effects are not readily comparable). Nonetheless, we believe that the case reported here can offer some interesting insights for future interventions of this kind. The EMI instructor was a male in his 40s and taught Modern History. During one of his lessons, the two pronunciation experts observing the lesson noticed that he used a read-aloud technique to introduce the text A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies written in 1542 by the Spanish Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas (Las Casas, 2004). It is an account (180 words) about the mistreatment of Indigenous Americans in colonial times. The language experts concluded that the instructor displayed little communicative focus, sounded monotonous, read too quickly and incorporated inaccurate pronunciations during the read-aloud (Class 1). A brief awareness session on pronunciation was customised for this teacher to help him improve his read-aloud performance in class. During the session, the teacher was invited to re-read the text out of a copy in which pauses, lexical stress, and linking had been signalled using simple notation, such as vertical bars, colours, stress marks and tie symbols (Awareness Session). The instructor read the text aloud following the markings, and his performance was recorded with a digital voice recorder. The supervisor provided supportive feedback after the performance (noticed the slower pace) and corrective feedback on keywords (e.g. ingenious) that still were not pronounced correctly. Lastly, the lecturer recorded the read-aloud activity in the following Modern History class with a digital voice recorder (Class 2). The three performance stages (before, during and after the awarenessraising session) were codified for an intelligibility analysis. It was decided that two levels of speech would be explored: utterances (phrases/clauses) and words. Since the stimuli for this analysis were not pre-designed, the selection of the utterances was decided by choosing 21 phrases that could be cut following the speaker’s pauses in the first reading phase (the pauses were determined auditorily). For example, we chose phrases such as the island of Cuba and today only two hundred survive. Then, we selected 29 content words that were liable for phonetic cutting and were not too

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coarticulated in the lecturer’s first reading phase. Some sample words included single words, such as unchanged and effectiveness, and collocations, such as three million. The selected utterances and words were presented to 15 listeners, who were asked to listen (twice maximum) and write down what they heard in a template after a brief introduction to the topic of the lecture. The template indicated the number of words per utterance and of words in multiple-word expressions (e.g. ravening wolves) or numerical collocations (e.g. three million); these multiple-word expressions were counted as one word. Nine listeners focused on assessing utterances and six listeners focused on assessing words. Given the pre/mid/posttest design, the auditory stimuli had to be distributed into different sessions and raters to avoid item repetitions: three different listeners for utterance identification in each session and two different listeners for word identification in each session. The listeners were third- and fourth-year Spanish students pursuing a Master’s degree in English studies and language learning at two universities in the north of Spain. They were not EMI students. The listeners reported their answers using orthographic transcription, and it was decided that slight misspellings would be coded as correctly understood as long as the target word was identifiable by the coder. Word identifications were coded as in/correct scores. Utterance identifications were codified as number of words successfully identified and turned into percentage scores. Inter-rater reliability was calculated by means of intra-class correlations (ICC), with 95% confidence interval in SPSS based on one-way factor, mean-rating (k = 9) for utterances and mean-rating (k = 6) for words; ICC were high for both utterance ratings and word ratings (ICC = .969, p < .001 and ICC = .957, p < .001, respectively). Results and discussion

Statistical analyses indicated that the data exhibited normal distribution, so we applied repeated measures ANOVA to explore differences between the performance stages for the three speech contexts explored. Table 11.3 shows speech identification/intelligibility results for the three recorded sessions (Class 1, Awareness Session and Class 2), an overall calculation, and the results for the two contexts presented: identification of words and identification of utterances. We may first observe that utterance identification shows higher rates of success than word identification throughout the three sessions tested [t(8) = 20.4; p < .001], indicative of the fact that facilitating more contextualised speech seems to boost intelligibility. Significant differences were found with ‘time’ as a factor for utterances: F(2, 40) = 10.59, p < .05; η2 = .45. Bonferroni post-hoc tests showed significant differences between Class 1 and Awareness Session (p