ERIC Number: EJ1170166
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
An Acceptable Alternative Articulation to Remediate Mispronunciation of the English /l/ Sound: Can Production Precede Perception?
Raver-Lampman, Greg; Wilson, Corinne
TESOL Journal, v9 n1 p203-223 Mar 2018
This article explores the teaching of an acceptable alternative articulation to correct the mispronunciation of the English /l/ sound by speakers of some Asian languages and dialects who struggle to differentiate the English liquids /r/ and /l/. Although teaching pronunciation, and especially segmentals, has generated controversy over whether practitioners should promote native-like, nonaccented speech, the /l/ sound is a high-functional-load consonant, the mispronunciation of which can cause significant communication problems. Many methods designed to correct this mispronunciation assume that perception must precede production. This article builds on research suggesting that speakers of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese may be able produce the /l/-/r/ distinction even if they fail to perceive it (Goto, 1971; Sheldon & Strange, 1982) as well as research that found that 30% of a sample of 50 U.S. university students, all native English speakers, produce the /l/ sound in a nonalveolar position, with their tongue tip touching the bottom of their front teeth protruding slightly (Raver-Lampman, 2015). The present study produced evidence that teaching this alternative articulation in three 30-minute sessions helped speakers of Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, and Thai improve the pronunciation of the /l/ sound regardless of their ability to perceive it. Implications for instruction are discussed.
Descriptors: College Students, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Learning, English (Second Language), Asians, Non English Speaking, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Articulation (Speech), Pronunciation, Pronunciation Instruction, Teaching Methods
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
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