Explicit Pronunciation Instruction: Teaching Suprasegmentals to Japanese Learners of English

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Yuko Koike, Ibaraki University

Acquiring intelligible English pronunciation is viewed as an important part of oral communication in the current age of globalization. Many learners, however, find pronunciation one of the most difficult aspects of the L2 to acquire in spite of a desire to improve their pronunciation. Despite the importance of intelligible pronunciation and learners’ desire to learn it, there has been little guidance concerning L2 pronunciation instruction, and many language teachers have limited training in teaching pronunciation. The present situation of English education in Japan is no exception. In this paper, I examine the pronunciation problems faced by Japanese college students learning English and factors contributing to these problems. I argue that explicit suprasegmental instruction is effective in improving the intelligibility of the students’ pronunciation. I also introduce instructional materials designed to be used in college English classes in Japan.