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EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF EXPLICIT PRONUNCIATION INSTRUCTION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF L2 PRONUNCIATION

  • Runhan Zhang (a1) and Zhou-min Yuan (a2)

Abstract

The current study compares the effects of two types of pronunciation instruction (segmental- and suprasegmental-based) on the development of second-year Chinese undergraduate students’ English pronunciation as against a group with no specific pronunciation (NSP) instruction. The participants were 90 university-level students in the Chinese mainland, from three intact classes. One class was taught with a segmental focus (N = 30) and the second with a suprasegmental focus (N = 31), while the third received NSP instruction (N = 29). The results showed that after an 18-week period of instruction, both the segmental and suprasegmental groups made statistically significant progress in pronunciation, as measured by comprehensibility on a sentence-reading task; however, only the suprasegmental group made statistically significant progress in comprehensibility at the spontaneous level, and it was also the only group that maintained these spontaneous gains on the delayed posttest. The positive effects of explicit pronunciation instruction in general and of suprasegmental instruction in particular account for the findings.

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Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Runhan Zhang, School of Foreign Studies, Central University of Finance and Economics, Haidian District, Beijing, P.R. China. E-mail: runhanzhang@cufe.edu.cn

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Our deepest gratitude goes first and foremost to Professor Tracey Derwing for her support, patience and encouragement. She has read the initial version of the whole manuscript and provided invaluable comments and suggestions that aided the final completion of this manuscript. We also would like to express our profound gratitude to the SSLA editors and the five anonymous reviewers for providing us with priceless comments and suggestions without which we cannot finish revising the whole manuscript. We finally want to thank all the participants who participated in our study, without whom we could not conduct this research.

Footnotes

References

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EXAMINING THE EFFECTS OF EXPLICIT PRONUNCIATION INSTRUCTION ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF L2 PRONUNCIATION

  • Runhan Zhang (a1) and Zhou-min Yuan (a2)

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