Journal or Book Title
Journal of Academic Language & Learning
Success in L2 pronunciation learning is affected by both individual differ-ences and social influences on learning. While individual differences have been extensively researched, social influences have not. This study examines the beliefs and attitudes of advanced learners of English in regard to their pronunciation abilities and improvement. Twelve graduate students took part in four weeks of individualized pronunciation tutoring followed by inter-views asking about their pronunciation, use of English, and their pronuncition in social contexts. The interviews revealed four images of their pronunciation learning. The first was that their spoken language skills left them feeling pulled in conflicting directions; the second was that they believed that accents could be ‘caught’ (like a cold) from the models around them (whether those models were seen as good or bad); the third concerned the students’ views of accent and identity, which by and large were not seen as connected; and the fourth suggested that they saw themselves as separate from regular social contact in the L2. Each of these images involved contradictory beliefs about the nature of pronunciation improvement and its relationship to social interaction. These beliefs made improvement in pronunciation difficult. It is only by helping learners address these contradictory beliefs that greater pronunciation improvement will be possible.
Levis, John, "Learners’ views of social issues in pronunciation learning" (2015). English Publications. 72.