LAMiNATE Talks: Joan C. Mora (University of Barcelona). L2 speech training in the classroom: methods and issues in developing L2 pronunciation in instructed SLA
Teaching and learning second language pronunciation is a major challenge in communicative approaches to language education. Teachers do not only find it difficult to know what to focus on when teaching pronunciation, they often lack the methodological resources and training to effectively integrate pronunciation into their communicative language classes. Although research has provided empirical evidence for the effectiveness of several pronunciation training and teaching methods for pronunciation development (e.g., high-variability phonetic training, explicit phonetic instruction, computer-assisted pronunciation instruction), effectively integrating them into the communicative language classroom remains both a methodological challenge and a largely unexplored area of research. Effectively integrating pronunciation instruction into communicative language teaching requires creative pedagogically-oriented innovations with clear identification of pronunciation teaching goals (e.g. speech intelligibility and comprehensibility; Levis, 2018; 2020) that would allow pronunciation learning to take place without decontextualized practice in meaningful language use contexts to facilitate transfer of learning gains to real-life communication.
The development of noticing and awareness of L2 phonetic features that differ systematically from those of the learners’ L1 and the integration of pronunciation instruction in communicative activities are crucial components of effective pronunciation instruction. This may be achieved through dual-focus approaches that combine explicit instruction with communicative tasks (Cerce-Murcia et al., 2010; Darcy, 2018; Darcy & Rocca, 2022), or through task-based pronunciation teaching (TBPT: Mora & Levkina, 2017; Mora-Plaza, 2023), an approach to prounciation instruction that makes use of the task-design principles of task-based language teaching (TBLT) to enhance learners’ attention to phonetic form in tasks involving meaning-based interaction. In addition, in foreign language (FL) instructional contexts where L2 exposure is often limited to 3 weekly hours of classroom instruction, making out-of-class individual pronunciation training activities available to learners that enhance their attention to phonetic form and raise their awareness of L2 pronunciation features can be very helpful in supporting and enhancing the benefits of integrated classroom pronunciation instruction. Such tasks include (but are not limited to) high-variability phonetic training (HVPT), shadowing, multimodal pronunciation training through captioned video, embodied pronunciation trainng, foreign accent imitation and L2 speech self-assessment training. In this talk we will address and discuss challenges in L2 pronunciation instruction based on current research that has focused on the effectiveness and limitations of current pronunciation instruction methods and techniques.
Celce-Murcia, M, Brinton, D, & Goodwin, J. (2010). Teaching pronunciation: A reference book for teachers (2nd edition). Cambridge University Press.
Darcy, I. (2018). Powerful and effective pronunciation instruction: How can we achieve It? CATESOL Journal, 30(1), 13-45.
Darcy, I. & Rocca, B. (2022). Comprehensibility improvements in integrated pronunciation instruction: A comparison of instructional methods and task effects. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 8(3), 328–362.
Levis, J. M. (2018). Intelligibility, oral communication, and the teaching of pronunciation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Levis, J. (2020). Revisiting the intelligibility and nativeness principles. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 6(3), 310-328.
Mora, J. C. & Levkina, M. (2017). Task-based pronunciation teaching and research: Key issues and future directions. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(2), 381-399.
Mora-Plaza, I. (2023). Task-based pronunciation teaching and learning of L2 vowels in EFL learners: task complexity effects. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Universtat de Barcelona.