Pronunciation Importance In Language Learning

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In language learning, many components and features are studied including; morphology, lexicology, syntax and grammar. While these are important in understanding language learning, there is another area that deserves attention but is often neglected within the world of language learning. This area being phonology, the study of a language’s sound system and the features that help develop the sounds of speech. Pronunciation is the way in which these sounds are manipulated to form comprehensible speech, the manner in which a particular language realizes these speech sounds, or if they even utilize a particular sound, is part of what makes each language unique. When learning another language, pronunciation plays a large role in the speaker’s level…show more content…
It is because of this that pronunciation is often neglected and viewed as a minor concern in the curriculum of foreign language classrooms (Lord, p. 492). This paper, however, will explain why pronunciation is indeed a major factor in communication, from the point of view of the learner and the English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor. When an individual learns another language, often they have a goal to effectively communicate in that language, but they also will often hope to obtain a native-like fluency, or to diminish their foreign accented speech (Talebzadeh & Gholami, p. 54). Accented speech is especially an area of persistence for adult learners (Hanulikova, p.…show more content…
625). This study focuses particularly on vowels as they often play a role in accented speech and pronunciation issues (Franklin & Stoel-Gammon, p.626). These two particular vowel systems vary largely in number, Spanish having the more common five vowel system (Franklin & Stoel-Gammon, p. 626), while English has a larger twelve count system. Spanish vowels are also more closely tied to their orthographic representations, a recoverable orthography, whereas English orthography is non-transparent (Vokic, p. 396), and it generally doesn’t aid in pronunciation. It is for this reason that orthography plays a role in pronunciation issues, the representations and their influence on the perception of sound (Vokic, p. 392) can be a source of confusion for learners as they attempt to apply the phonological rules of their L1 to the L2 ( Iverson & Evans, p. 866). Considering that these two languages are represented orthographically with many of the same alphabetic letters, it is understandable why a native Spanish speaker would attempt to apply their phonological awareness, their understanding of particular sounds as they are associated with orthographic representations to the L2 (Vokic, p. 395). The English system, however, uses a variety of rules including vowel reduction and at times a complete disregard of vowels (Lord, p.
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