Pronunciation Myths

Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching

Subjects: English as a Second Language (ESL), Applied Linguistics & Linguistics
Paperback : 9780472035168, 264 pages, 6 x 9, February 2014
Ebook : 9780472120703, 264 pages, August 2014
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This volume was conceived as a "best practices" resource for pronunciation and speaking teachers in the way that Vocabulary Myths by Keith S. Folse is one for reading and vocabulary teachers. Like others in the Myths series, this book combines research with good pedagogical practices.


The book opens with a Prologue by Linda Grant (author of the Well Said textbook series), which reviews the last four decades of pronunciation teaching, the differences between accent and intelligibility, the rudiments of the English sound system, and other factors related to the ways that pronunciation is learned and taught.


The myths challenged in this book are:

§ Once you’ve been speaking a second language for years, it’s too late to change your pronunciation. (Derwing and Munro)

§ Pronunciation instruction is not appropriate for beginning-level learners. (Zielinski and Yates)

§ Pronunciation teaching has to establish in the minds of language learners a set of distinct consonant and vowel sounds. (Field)

§ Intonation is hard to teach. (Gilbert)

§ Students would make better progress if they just practiced more. (Grant)

§ Accent reduction and pronunciation instruction are the same thing. (Thomson)

§ Teacher training programs provide adequate preparation in how to teach pronunciation (Murphy).


The book concludes with an Epilogue by Donna M. Brinton, who synthesizes some of the best practices explored in the volume.