English language; pronounciation; Study and teaching, Pronunciation by foreign speakers


This study used three instruments to examine the current state of the teaching of ESOL pronunciation. These instruments included a survey of 62 teachers, another survey of 508 ESOL students, and a comparative study of ten pronunciation textbooks in widespread use since 1990. The purpose of the study was to characterize the teaching of pronunciation at present through the voices of the teachers, the opinions of the students, and the content of the textbooks. The study also identified the approaches and types of activities being proposed by the experts and recommended additional activities as well as a rationale for their use.

The responses from the teacher survey indicated that there is little formal teaching of pronunciation in adult education programs although teachers deal with pronunciation mistakes in an incidental manner. Results from the student survey indicated that false beginner adult learners strongly favor practicing pronunciation and that they want their teachers to correct their mistakes.

The descriptive study of the textbooks showed three different tendencies: a traditional curriculum based on the sound and the word as the point of departure of the lesson, another based on the communicative context as the point of departure, and a third that proposed an integrative model, that is, listening, speaking, accuracy, and fluency where pronunciation accuracy is emphasized. There were discrepancies in the selection of phonetic symbols, use of metalanguage, and types of activities. There is a consensus on the importance of listening, the use of the tape recorder, and outside class activities.

At the onset of the study, the researcher hypothesized that teachers did not address pronunciation in their classes. The survey, however, indicated that in spite of the fact that pronunciation is not considered as part of the curriculum, it is addressed by the teachers at least in an indirect manner. The results of this study confirmed the fact that students enjoy practicing the sounds of the language. The comparative study of the pronunciation textbooks showed that 90% of the books are intended for intermediate or advanced learners, thus revealing a surprising lack of pronunciation materials for ESOL false beginners.

Graduation Date





Folse, Keith S.


Master of Arts (M.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Foreign Langauges and Literatures




124 p.




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Masters Thesis (Open Access)




Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences

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