Pronunciation Fundamentals

Evidence-based perspectives for L2 teaching and research

| University of Alberta
| Simon Fraser University
ISBN 9789027213266 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027213273 | EUR 33.00 | USD 49.95
ISBN 9789027268594 | EUR 95.00/33.00*
| USD 143.00/49.95*
The emergence of empirical approaches to L2 pronunciation research and teaching is a powerful fourth wave in the history of the field. Authored by two leading proponents of evidence-based instruction, this volume surveys both foundational and cutting-edge empirical work and pinpoints its ramifications for pedagogy. The authors begin by tracing the history of pronunciation instruction and explicating L2 phonetic learning processes. Subsequent chapters explore the themes, strengths, and ethical problems of the field through the lens of the intelligibility principle. The importance of error gravity, and the need for assessment and individualized instruction are highlighted, and the role of L2 accents in social contexts is probed. Material readily available elsewhere has been omitted in favour of an emphasis on the how, why, and when of pronunciation instruction. Anyone with an interest in L2 pronunciation–especially graduate students, language teachers, and experienced researchers–will find much value in this indispensible resource.
[Language Learning & Language Teaching, 42]  2015.  xiii, 208 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Key concepts
Chapter 2. Historical overview of pronunciation
Chapter 3. A pedagogical perspective on L2 phonetic acquisition
Chapter 4. Pronunciation errors and error gravity
Chapter 5. Pronunciation instruction research
Chapter 6. Assessment of L2 pronunciation
Chapter 7. Technology in L2 pronunciation instruction
Chapter 8. Social aspects of accent
Chapter 9. The ethics of second language accent reduction
Chapter 10. Future directions
Subject Index
Author Index
“I found this book inspiring, motivating and enriching. Throughout, emphasis is placed on communicative goals: The authors successfully convince of the importance of a focus on comprehensibility and intelligibility, rather than on accentedness. This book has built an essential bridge between research and practice, thought-provoking for the specialist, as well as accessible and invaluably practical for anyone interested in L2 pronunciation.”
“In a text that is engaging, informative, and sometimes provocative, Derwing and Munro synthesize decades of empirical research and show what aspects of pronunciation can—or should—be part of teachers’ instructional focus with second language learners. Graduate students and researchers will find a thorough critical review of previous studies and guidance for future research. The book covers research areas including the influence of first language on a second language speaker’s pronunciation, how age is related to acquiring the sounds and speech patterns of a second language, distinguishing accent from comprehensibility and intelligibility, the role of listeners in assessing pronunciation, and the ethics of “accent reduction” programs. Every page reveals the authors’ passionate commitment to understanding how pronunciation skills contribute to successful communication in a variety of language interactions. This book will convince you not only that pronunciation is an important part of second language teaching and learning but also that research in this area is absolutely fascinating.”
“This book presents a reliable and informative academic resource in the area of L2 pronunciation. Most currently popular books in this field pertain to discussing phonetic and phonological aspects of the L2, ignoring the pedagogical concerns of phonetic instruction. This book, however, pays significant attention to that often-neglected area of instruction. An area of interest and value to researchers and teachers relates to the most neglected aspect of pronunciation teaching: classroom-based research on effective teaching strategies. This entails the observation of classes to gain fuller understanding of current teaching practices and then to devise more effective pronunciation instruction. This issue was raised in Chapters 5 and 10. In this vein, it should be noted that similar attention was called for in Baker’s (2011, 2014) research, which was among the first attempts to fill this gap [see also Alghazo (2013)]; however, this research was unfortunately recognised in this book. Overall, Pronunciation Fundamentals: Evidence-based Perspectives for L2 Teaching and Research is an invaluable contribution for both teachers and researchers in the field of L2 pronunciation.”
“The book, written “to serve as a resource for anyone who is interested in second language pronunciation” (p. xi), stems from the long teaching and research experience of the authors, who provide a well-balanced account of research and pedagogical suggestions in connection with major challenges related to pronunciation. The structure of the book makes it possible for individual readers to choose aspects of interest rather than follow the order of issues raised by the authors; however, treated as a whole, the book makes a perfect text for the study of pronunciation in its full complexity. Raising important problems and issues related to pronunciation as seen from a student and teacher perspective, discussing strengths and weaknesses of relevant research and providing

a variety of insights into the development of research as well as pedagogy, the book manages to achieve what verges on the impossible: It is comprehensive and yet concise. Discussing sound research, it opens up new paths for further studies; referring to the authors’ experience, it provides food for thought and stimulates new ideas. Most importantly, perhaps, the book bridges the gap

between pronunciation research and teaching, showing how the former informs the latter. As it is only by better understanding of complex conditionings of pronunciation challenges faced by students that we can provide relevant instruction, the book offers an invaluable resource to all of us interested in pronunciation. And to make us enjoy researching and teaching pronunciation even

more, the book reads so well, being both engaging and engaged in the pronunciation instruction cause.”
“Written by internationally recognized authorities in the field of second language pronunciation learning and teaching, “Pronunciation fundamentals” offers a comprehensive, state-of-the-art treatment of historical, pedagogical, linguistic, social, and ethical issues involved in the teaching and assessment of second language pronunciation. A particular strength of this volume is its clear pedagogical focus informed by years of empirical work, including the authors’ own seminal research on pronunciation learning and teaching. A highly engaging read, “Pronunciation fundamentals” is a must-have not just for language teachers and researchers; it will be of great interest to anyone who has ever wondered how language users learn to speak in another language and how best to assist them in this challenge.”
“In the contested world of academic peer review, it a rare pleasure to be able to give an unreserved endorsement to a colleague’s work. I confess that I had high expectations for this book before reading it, having been inspired by the breadth and quality of Derwing and Munro’s innovative work throughout my academic career. This book has exceeded all expectations in terms of the substance, clarity of thought, comprehensiveness, and likely impact on research and pedagogical practice, with the pervasiveness of the authors’ own work in practically every chapter reflecting the centrality of their scholarship to so many lines of inquiry in our field. In conformity with their suggestion about the suitability of their volume for a broad readership, I wholeheartedly recommend the purchase and consumption of this book "for anyone who is interested in second language pronunciation" (p. xi) and believe that it will be a cherished and widely cited resource for many years to come.”
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and I would recommend it for any masters course in Teaching English Language and Applied Linguistics for language teachers.”
“I have long waited for a book on pronunciation research that changes the ways we think about instruction. The wait is over. Knowledgeable readers will find this book thought provoking and challenging, while those who are new to the field will find its discussion of pronunciation research accessible and its teaching ideas approachable.”
“Most of all, I like that the book is written with the language teacher in mind as much as the researcher, and that it will be of use to those working in areas of L2 acquisition other than pronunciation. The style is clear and unfussy; key terms are explained and exemplified; research studies are made to seem relevant (not always an easy task); theories which are not obviously practically oriented are put into pedagogical context; and teachers are given a wide range of pointers in terms of what is useful, what to avoid, and where to go for support. I know of no other book that addresses all these aspects so thoroughly and so well, and would highly recommend it, both as a course text for students studying pronunciation teaching and learning on teacher training or teacher education programmes, and also as a reference for those interested in practical applications of pronunciation research.”
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BIC Subject: CJA – Language teaching theory & methods
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2015005095