Pronunciation Myths: Applying Second Language Research to Classroom Teaching (英語) ペーパーバック – 2014/2/21
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This volume was conceived as a "best practices" resource for pronunciation and speaking teachers in the way that Vocabulary Myths by Keith S. Folse is one for reading and vocabulary teachers. Like others in the Myths series, this book combines research with good pedagogical practices.
The book opens with a Prologue by Linda Grant (author of the Well Said textbook series), which reviews the last four decades of pronunciation teaching, the differences between accent and intelligibility, the rudiments of the English sound system, and other factors related to the ways that pronunciation is learned and taught.
The myths challenged in this book are:
§ Once you’ve been speaking a second language for years, it’s too late to change your pronunciation. (Derwing and Munro)
§ Pronunciation instruction is not appropriate for beginning-level learners. (Zielinski and Yates)
§ Pronunciation teaching has to establish in the minds of language learners a set of distinct consonant and vowel sounds. (Field)
§ Intonation is hard to teach. (Gilbert)
§ Students would make better progress if they just practiced more. (Grant)
§ Accent reduction and pronunciation instruction are the same thing. (Thomson)
§ Teacher training programs provide adequate preparation in how to teach pronunciation (Murphy).
The book concludes with an Epilogue by Donna M. Brinton, who synthesizes some of the best practices explored in the volume.
One small warning- if you are totally new to teaching English as a second or foreign language, you might find the terminology used in the book A BIT difficult. This was a great read, and really opened my eyes to new resources. The bibliographies at the end of each chapter are also highly valuable, and the final chapter ties everything together into a comprehensible big picture. Hopefully, there will soon be a "Grammar Myths" book along the same lines!