Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching

Country: USA

City: Ames

Abstr. due: 16.04.2018

Dates: 06.09.18 — 08.09.18

Area Of Sciences: Humanities;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: IOC


The Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference is celebrating its 10th year, with a conference theme of perception. Ann Bradlow of Northwestern University will be the plenary speaker. The conference includes pre-conference workshops (Sept. 6), oral sessions, poster sessions, teaching tips, and special sessions from former plenary speakers. There is also a welcome reception and conference dinner included in the cost of the registration.

Approaches to pronunciation research and teaching have always strongly emphasized production, and indeed “pronunciation” is often used synomymously with the accurate production of L2 segmentals and suprasegmentals.

But pronunciation has another equally important side, perception, especially in relation to speech intelligibility. Perception is often a hidden factor in intelligibility (Levis, 2005), and many L2 perception difficulties are directly tied to inability to hear or understand the phonetic detail of speech, whether in relation to phonemic categories (Broersma & Cutler, 2008) or unexpected changes in casual connected speech (Cauldwell, 2013).

Two well-known models of speech perception, Flege’s (1995) Speech Learning Model and Best & Tyler’s (2007) Perceptual Assimilation Model suggest that the ability to perceive categorical differences in the L2 is important for changes in L2 production. Perception of new sounds can improve with even modest amounts of practice and instruction (Qian, Chukharev-Hudalainen, & Levis, 2018), and perception may improve more robustly with the use of multiple voices and speech models (Thomson, 2011, 2012). But many questions about the connection between perception and production for adult L2 learners remain.

In addition, perception of speech is not simply perception of linguistic features in isolation, but is also at the root of judgments of comprehensibility (Munro & Derwing, 1995), interpretability (Low, 2006; Smith & Nelson, 1985), and discourse meaning (Reed & Michaud, 2015). Social perceptions of language are also tied to discriminatory reactions to speakers based on assumptions about the groups they belong to (Lippi-Green, 2012; Munro, 2003) and may even lead to worse comprehension based on assumptions about speakers (Rubin, 1992). In addition, language learners may perceive their own pronunciation as the cause of L2 social stigma (Gluszek & Dovidio, 2010), and these perceptions can even make them inaudible to others and prevent development of their L2 identity (Miller, 2003).

Conference Web-Site: