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State-of-the-Art Review Article

  • Jane Setter (a1) and Jennifer Jenkins (a2)

Abstract

This article is organised in five main sections. It begins by outlining the scope of pronunciation teaching and the role of pronunciation in our personal and social lives. The second section surveys the background to pronunciation teaching from its origins in the early twentieth century to the present day, and includes a discussion of pronunciation models and of the role of the first language (L1) in the acquisition of second language (L2) pronunciation. Then a third section explores recent research into a range of aspects involved in the process: the effects of L1 and L2 similarities and differences; the role of intelligibility, accent attitudes, identity and motivation; the part played by listening; and the place of pronunciation within discourse. This section concludes with a discussion of a number of controversies that have arisen from recent pronunciation research and of research into the potential for using computer-based technology in pronunciation teaching. The fourth section explores a range of socio-political issues that affect pronunciation teaching when the L2 is learnt as an international rather than a foreign language, and the fifth section moves on to consider the implications of all this for teaching.

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