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International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching

Ed. by Jordens, Peter / Roberts, Leah

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.667
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CiteScore 2018: 1.02

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.891
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Volume 53, Issue 1


Setting segmental priorities for English learners: Evidence from a longitudinal study

Murray J. Munro
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  • Department of Linguistics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada, V5A 1S6
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/ Tracey M. Derwing / Ron I. Thomson
Published Online: 2015-02-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2015-0002


Contemporary views of adult pronunciation instruction emphasize the development of intelligible speech using empirically-validated pedagogical principles. Because learners typically have limited time for pronunciation work, instruction should be provided in a way that maximizes the use of the available opportunities. However, achievement of such a goal entails applying detailed knowledge of the phonetic learning process with due attention to the nature of differences that arise among learners, whether they share or do not share the same native language. In this longitudinal investigation, we examined productions of consonants and consonant clusters in English learners from two language backgrounds over a two-year period. Extensive between- and within-group variability was observed, with some targets produced very well at the outset, and others improving over time. The results argue against a common curriculum for learners. Instead, pronunciation instruction that focuses on individual learners' needs is called for. The findings are discussed in terms of strategies that might be used to develop effective and efficient pedagogical practices.

Keywords: English pronunciation instruction; longitudinal; segmentals

About the article

Published Online: 2015-02-28

Published in Print: 2015-03-01

Citation Information: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, Volume 53, Issue 1, Pages 39–60, ISSN (Online) 1613-4141, ISSN (Print) 0019-042X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2015-0002.

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