Departmental Bulletin Paper How to Teach English Phonetic Components to Speakers of Japanese : A Review of Previous Studies

御手洗, 昭治  ,  森吉, 紀江

The purpose of this paper is to compare some salient suprasegmental andsegmental differences between English and Japanese, to identify difficulties thatJapanese learning English may encounter, and to revisit effective pronunciationteaching based on previous research findings. Current tendency is to focus onintegration of suprasegmental and segmental features rather than choosing either ofthem. Regarding setting priority in teaching pronunciation, a consensus betweenexperienced teachers on relatively important pronunciation features for Japaneselearning English was recently provided by Saito (2014). As for teachers’roles andresponsibilities, there are many factors (e.g., learners’goal, proficiency level, anddevelopment stage)which pronunciation teachers need to take into account. Withthis in mind, teachers are responsible for selecting appropriate approaches, instructionalmaterials, and learning activities from a wide range. Above all, phonemicdistinction exercise,articulatory descriptions or diagrams seem beneficial especiallyfor beginners. Form Focused Instruction (FFI) and social interaction with othersare regarded to be effective approaches to improve phonetic abilities in spontaneouscommunication.

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