Minimal Pairs Pronunciation for Japanese EFL Students (78906)

Session Information: Language Education in Multilingual and Multicultural Context
Session Chair: Aaron Ward

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 15:50
Session: Session 4
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

The current presentation presents a reflection on the introduction to first-year Japanese English-as-a-Foreign Language (EFL) students to pronunciation, primarily through the study of phonetic minimal pairs and the International Phonemic Alphabet (IPA). Historically, pronunciation has seen little attention in the English Language Teaching (ELT) field for both practical and ideological reasons. As such, the aim of the current presentation is to discuss the value of learning pronunciation skills as a means to student clearer spoken expression, as well as enabling students to better understand other English speakers. The need for a greater focus on speaking skills may have become more pressing over the past few years, as students have had comparably limited opportunities to interact with each other face-to-face, or with other English-language users, either domestically or abroad. To this end, some of the needs of Japanese EFL students, specifically relating to pronunciation, will be discussed. Secondly, a set of minimal-pairs practice tasks tailored to the needs of Japanese-EFL learners, with some example variations, along with classroom implementation will be outlined and described. Then, discussion will be made about how well the program was received by the participating students, as well as recurrent difficulties students had with particular phoneme pairs. Finally, given the greater emphasis placed on receptive over productive skills across the Japanese EFL sector, brief discussion will be made about the future importance of pronunciation skills in the face of the potential rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

Aaron Ward, Toyo University, Japan

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Aaron Ward is a University Assistant Professor/Lecturer at Toyo University in Japan

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00