3History of ESL Pronunciation Teaching

JOHN M. MURPHY AND AMANDA A. BAKER

Introduction

This chapter tells the story of over 150 years in the teaching of English as a second language (ESL) pronunciation. It is important to acknowledge at the outset that there is little direct evidence of pronunciation teaching practices for most of the modern era of English language teaching (ELT). Prior to the second half of the twentieth century, there were neither video nor audio recordings of pronunciation teachers in action, reflective journaling appears to have been nonexistent (at least not in any retrievable format), and the period’s limited number of classroom research reports tended to focus on areas other than pronunciation teaching. Available evidence consists of specialist discussions of language teaching in general and of the teaching of pronunciation. Other sources include several published histories of ELT (e.g., Howatt and Widdowson 2004; Kelly 1969; Richards and Rodgers 2001) and periodic reviews of pronunciation teaching (e.g., Anderson-Hsieh 1989; Leather 1983; Morley 1991, 1994; Pennington and Richards 1986; Pourhosein Gilakjani 2012). Complementing these sources are analyses of English phonology, studies of the acquisition of second language (L2) phonology, teacher training materials, and related research reports. Starting in the 1990s, a few research studies compared the efficacy of different ways of teaching pronunciation (e.g., Couper 2003, 2006; Derwing, Munro, and ...

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