The Influence of Near Peer Role Models (NPRMs) in Second Language Classrooms Intended to Improve Students’ Pronunciation When Teacher Intervention is Not Enough

| January 26, 2013
Title
The Influence of Near Peer Role Models (NPRMs) in Second Language Classrooms Intended to Improve Students’ Pronunciation When Teacher Intervention is Not Enough

Keywords: Near peer role models, peer tutoring, pronunciation, rounding off, Japanese students.

Michael Ruddick
Niigata University of International
and Information Studies, Japan

Paul Nadasdy
Tokyo Denki University, Japan

Bio Data
Michael Ruddick has been teaching English in Japan since 1999. He graduated from the Birmingham MA programme in TEFL/TESOL in 2008 and has been teaching at the Niigata University of International and Information Studies for almost two years. His areas of interest are sociocultural theory, classroom research and critical discourse analysis.

Paul Nadasdy has been teaching in Japan since 2002. He is currently employed at Tokyo Denki University. His main research interests are concerned with how group dynamics, motivation, and self-belief/self-efficacy affect foreign language learners. Other interests include sociocultural theory, media discourse, materials development,and CALL. He completed his Masters in TEFL/TESL in 2008.

Abstract
In the 2008-2009 academic year at the Niigata University of International and Information Studies (NUIS) a research project was initiated involving Near Peer Role Models (NPRMs). This study is a quantitative investigation into the effect that NPRMs have on rounding off, the habit amongst Japanese learners of English of inserting unnecessary vowel sounds into English words (Thompson, 2001, p. 296). On the Communicative English Programme (CEP) at NUIS, three older advanced students acted as NPRM tutors for four 50-minute periods in a first year English class. The NPRMs were asked to act as language assistants and instructed to specifically highlight the rounding off problem. A separate class was exposed to the standard teacher fronted explanations with regards to the problem. The language usage of both classes was then analysed and compared. The results show a larger drop in rounding off among those students exposed to NPRMs as compared to students who were not assisted by NPRMs.

[private] See page: 28-40

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 65