Article published in:Localization and Interculturality
Edited by Cornelia Wermuth and Priscilla Heynderickx
[The Journal of Internationalization and Localization 3:2] 2016
► pp. 196–212
Falling on deaf ears
Questioning why pronunciation is overlooked in second and foreign language instruction
Second or foreign language learners study or are taught various language skill areas, one of which is speaking. In order to speak in the target language, learners must gain some proficiency in the target language’s vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation so that their verbal utterances are meaningful to listeners. However, although pronunciation may be said to be the most fundamental of these three components, it is by far the one that receives the least amount of attention in second or foreign language learning situations. Insufficient attention placed on the pronunciation component can lead to detrimental effects on learners, potentially negatively impacting them in their attempts at bridging the interculturality gap between their first language and the language being learned. The present article will make a call for increased inclusion of pronunciation instruction and training in second and foreign language teaching and learning by relating pronunciation’s importance in verbal communicative acts and by addressing the issue of pronunciation localization. In addition, the article will present a discussion explaining why those involved in such language teaching and learning tend to overlook the pronunciation component in second and foreign language teaching and learning situations.
Keywords: verbal communication, pronunciation, second language learning, foreign language learning
Published online: 21 December 2016
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