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The contribution of individual differences to L2 pronunciation learning: Insights from research and pedagogical implications

Suzukida, Y; (2021) The contribution of individual differences to L2 pronunciation learning: Insights from research and pedagogical implications. RELC Journal 10.1177/0033688220987655. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Adult second language (L2) learning often exhibits great variability in its rate and outcome. Although research shows that learning trajectories are partly shaped by social and contextual factors (e.g. Larson-Hall, 2008), certain learner factors play an important role in enhancing L2 pronunciation learning by helping L2 learners notice and process input efficiently, whereas certain learner factors may impede L2 pronunciation learning by impairing attention control or slowing down L2 input processing. Therefore, in order for language teachers to provide effective instruction and help their students improve their L2 pronunciation proficiency, it is beneficial for them to understand the differential impact of learner characteristics on L2 learning and adapt such understanding to their instruction and learning activities. The aim of the current article is to provide a review of existing studies that have explored individual differences (IDs) in relation to L2 pronunciation acquisition and to present implications for effective L2 pronunciation teaching. The article begins with an introduction of the paradigm shift in L2 pronunciation research and the conceptual framework of ID proposed by Dörnyei (2009). This is followed by a summary of the processes involved in L2 pronunciation learning. The third section focuses on the characteristics of four IDs that have been found to influence the development of L2 pronunciation. Those IDs include foreign language learning aptitude (e.g. Saito and Hanzawa, 2016), musical aptitude (e.g. Milovanov et al., 2010), L2 learning motivation (e.g. Moyer, 1999) and anxiety (e.g. Baran-Łucarz, 2016). Based on the discussion in the third section, the last section will offer various applications of IDs research findings to L2 pronunciation instruction (e.g. instructional approaches, feedback, and pronunciation syllabi) for successful L2 pronunciation teaching.

Type: Article
Title: The contribution of individual differences to L2 pronunciation learning: Insights from research and pedagogical implications
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0033688220987655
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0033688220987655
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Individual differences, L2 pronunciation pedagogy, L2 pronunciation acquisition, aptitude, motivation, anxiety, musical aptitude, L2 speech learning
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10123759
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