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Intelligibility Among Japanese EFL Learners: The Need for Pronunciation Practice

Page No.: 
272
Writer(s): 
Junko Chujo, Takaoka University of Law

The purpose of this study was twofold: to examine the intelligibility of Japanese university students’ English pronunciation in terms of oral production features, and to utilize the findings as pronunciation instruction material in order to emphasize the importance of pronunciation among Japanese EFL students. For this purpose, a number of English consonants shown in the literature to be troublesome for Japanese learners was selected. A word list including these troublesome consonants was constructed and read aloud by Japanese university students. Average samples were extracted and evaluated in terms of intelligibility by native and nonnative speakers of English (excluding Japanese L1 speakers). The results highlight the need for pronunciation instruction in order for Japanese university students to attain an intelligible level of English pronunciation. The potential use of the present findings to raise awareness among EFL learners of the need for pronunciation practice is also considered.

本研究は、日本語を母語とする大学1年生の英語発音の通用性の検証を通して、英語の発音指導の必要性を考察する。平均的な大学生の英語口頭コミュニケーションを収集し、彼らの英語の発音の国際通用性を単語レベルの発話で検証した。検証対象は、大学生が読み上げた英単語の音声である。検証法は英語母語話者、(日本語母語話者を除く)英語非母語話者による聞き取り度評価調査による。結果、英語母語話者、英語非母語話者の両者に対して通用性が低い単語の発音が認められた。また本研究より得られた知見を授業で活用することにより大学生の発音に対する意識を高める方途を探ることも研究の目的である。

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