Intelligibility Among Japanese EFL Learners: The Need for Pronunciation Practice

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Junko Chujo, Takaoka University of Law

The purpose of this study was twofold: to examine the intelligibility of Japanese university students’ English pronunciation in terms of oral production features, and to utilize the findings as pronunciation instruction material in order to emphasize the importance of pronunciation among Japanese EFL students. For this purpose, a number of English consonants shown in the literature to be troublesome for Japanese learners was selected. A word list including these troublesome consonants was constructed and read aloud by Japanese university students. Average samples were extracted and evaluated in terms of intelligibility by native and nonnative speakers of English (excluding Japanese L1 speakers). The results highlight the need for pronunciation instruction in order for Japanese university students to attain an intelligible level of English pronunciation. The potential use of the present findings to raise awareness among EFL learners of the need for pronunciation practice is also considered.