Publication Details

Burri, M. (2015). 'My perspective changed dramatically': A case for preparing L2 instructors to teach pronunciation. English Australia Journal: the Australian journal of English language teaching, 31 (1), 19-37.

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Over the past two decades, pronunciation has slowly regained some of its former prominence in the second language (L2) classroom. Yet, despite this renewed interest, L2 instructors often perceive it to be one of the most challenging areas to teach. Specialists, therefore, suggest that preparing pronunciation teachers is a much needed area in the field of language teaching, but little is known about the education of pronunciation instructors and its potential impact on prospective teachers. This article reports on a qualitative case study in which questionnaires, focus groups, classroom observations and semi-structured interviews were employed to obtain insights on the impact of a postgraduate pronunciation subject on 15 student teachers' cognition (beliefs, thoughts, attitudes and knowledge) about pronunciation pedagogy. Findings revealed that the subject had a notable effect on the development of participants' cognition about pronunciation instruction and its goal. Group work/discussions and comparisons of accents increased student teachers' awareness about the value of non-native English varieties and accents, which in turn facilitated a change in participants' beliefs that the objective of pronunciation instruction should not be accent elimination. The article concludes with a discussion about implications for L2 teacher educators and language instructors teaching English pronunciation in their classrooms.