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ERIC Number: ED540593
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jul
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 42
Teaching Pronunciation to Adult English Language Learners. CAELA Network Brief
Schaetzel, Kirsten; Low, Ee Ling
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition
Adult English language learners in the United States approach the learning of English pronunciation from a wide variety of native language backgrounds. They may speak languages with sound systems that vary a great deal from that of English. The pronunciation goals and needs of adult English language learners are diverse. These goals and needs depend on a variety of factors, which may include the learners' uses of English (in what settings and for what purposes), their motivation to identify with specific English-speaking groups, the degree to which they want to sound like native speakers, and the frequency with which they speak English. Although pronunciation is part of the curriculum in many adult education programs, it is often not included in state language proficiency standards or addressed systematically in instruction. In addition, some English as a second language (ESL) teachers working with adult learners do not have training in teaching pronunciation. As a result, teachers may not be able to identify the patterns of or reasons for learners' pronunciation problems or have a systematic way to teach the sound, stress, intonation, and rhythm patterns of English. This brief reviews features of languages (particularly English) that can have an impact on the teaching and learning of English pronunciation, discusses the research on learner acquisition of pronunciation, and describes how teachers can teach pronunciation in their classes. This brief is written for teachers, program administrators, education researchers, and policy makers to provide information about evidence-based strategies for teaching pronunciation to adult English language learners. (Contains 2 tables.)
Center for Adult English Language Acquisition. 4646 40th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016. Tel: 202-355-1500; Fax: 202-363-7204; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Researchers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Vocational and Adult Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: Center for Adult English Language Acquisition