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A conversation analytic perspective on teaching English pronunciation: The case of speech rhythm

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Publication details

JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
DatePublished - Mar 2012
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)67-87
Original languageEnglish


Recent decades have seen an ongoing debate over the implications of English as a global lingua franca for English teaching methodologies and curricula, particularly regarding pronunciation. The two opposing perspectives are native-like accuracy on the one hand, and international intelligibility on the other. This paper suggests a third approach, which starts from an interactional perspective on phonetics and prosody, and asks, first, what the interactional relevance of individual pronunciation features may be, and, second, how non-native speakers would benefit from acquiring them. Taking speech rhythm as an example, the paper argues that as long as non-native speakers are able to accomplish the interactional projects they set out to accomplish, non-native features of their accent variety need not be made prominent in pronunciation teaching.

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