Effects of Hyper-Pronunciation Training Method on Japanese University Students’ Pronunciation

| July 20, 2011
Title
Effects of Hyper-Pronunciation Training Method on Japanese University Students Pronunciation

Keywords: Hyper-Pronunciation Training Method, Pronunciation pedagogy, Voice Onset Time, Pitch range, Japanese university students

Authors
Toshinobu Nagamine
Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan

Bio Data
Toshinobu Nagamine is currently Associate Professor in the Department of English Language & Literature at Prefectural University of Kumamoto, Japan, where he teaches English phonetics, English linguistics, and EFL teacher education courses. He holds a Ph.D. in Composition & TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. His research interests include teacher development, pronunciation pedagogy and theory, and grammar pedagogy and theory.

Abstract
Mutual intelligibility or overall comprehensibility of L2 speech has been regarded as a crucial goal in recent ESL pronunciation pedagogy. In other words, native-like accuracy has received less pedagogical attention. It is not necessarily reasonable, however, to underestimate native-like accuracy in pronunciation teaching targeting student-teachers in ESL/EFL teacher-education settings. This study, therefore, examined the efficacy of Hyper-Pronunciation Training Method, which initially exaggerates pitch contours and the duration of stressed syllables in English (Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Goodwin, 1996, p. 26), in an EFL teacher-education contexts. Subjects of the study were Japanese university students (N=30), and they all took part in a year-long pronunciation training. At the time of the investigation, the subjects had a plan to become EFL teachers after graduation, but their level of confidence in their English pronunciation was extremely low. Before and after the pronunciation training sessions, subjects speech was collected and analyzed using Praat (acoustic-analysis software; Boersma & Weenink, 2008). In the acoustic analysis, a prime focus was put on Voice Onset Time (VOT) of voiceless bilabial, alveolar, and velar stops/plosives and pitch range. Thus, both segmental and suprasegmental aspects of L2 speech were analyzed in this study. This paper reports on the results of acoustic analysis and discusses the applicability of Hyper-Pronunciation Training Method in EFL/ESL teacher-education settings.

 

See pages 35-50

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Category: Teaching Articles, Volume 53