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EAP learners and pronunciation: Dealing with comprehensibility

EAP learners and pronunciation: Dealing with comprehensibility

In many EAP programmes, there is a strong focus on vocabulary, grammar and discourse because the reading and writing needs of these learners are perceived as being significant. However, EAP learners also have important needs in terms of their oral language. They need to be able to participate actively in seminars and tutorials, and they need to be able to communicate effectively with peers, teaching staff and administrative staff in an academic setting. As a result, a focus on developing speaking skills, and more particularly a focus on the pronunciation of these learners, is an important consideration.  

Recent studies have tracked university students who have English as an additional language. The studies have investigated the degree to which these students are comprehensible to content faculty instructors of mainstream tertiary courses. This has signalled increased interest in issues associated with pronunciation and the oral comprehensibility of these students. This webinar will explore what it means for EAP learners to be comprehensible and focus on some particular phonological features that are useful to these students as they move on to undergraduate and post-graduate study. It will look at core methodology for both a receptive and productive focus on phonology that aims to help make learners more effective communicators in tertiary study environments.


About the speaker

Craig Thaine has been involved in ELT for 30 years. He is Cambridge DTEFLA qualified and also has an MA (Hons.) in Applied Linguistics. He has worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in many different countries. He is currently Director of Teacher Training at Languages International, Auckland and is a Cambridge ESOL Teaching Awards assessor for both the CELTA and Delta schemes. He has extensive experience developing and teaching English language courses to adult learners, including ESP and EAP courses. Craig is co-author of Empower, the general English adult course.

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