Re-visiting Well-Known Techniques to Improve the Pronunciation of Segmental Features (and Venturing into the New Normal)
Mónica Patricia Lacci,
Department of English, Sede Regional Orán, National University of Salta, Argentina
This project aimed at improving students’ pronunciation of segmental features through the use and activation of some learning strategies, including the systematic practice of transcribing, reading aloud and recording texts into phonemic symbols. The participants were two homogenous learner groups attending the 2nd year and doing English Phonetics II in 2017 and 2019 at Loutaif Institute in Orán, Argentina. The experimental 2019 group’s performance was compared to the control 2017 group. The intervention focused on the implementation of written and oral home assignments in the experimental group as well as the teacher’s instruction on learning strategies and informal feedback on the group’s weekly-based performance. Both groups’ performances were registered by the teacher in class. The data considered five indicators: attendance, written and oral home assignments, and written and oral mid-term tests. These indicators were described and analyzed in relation to the influence produced by the application of the aforementioned techniques through the use and activation of learning strategies and their influence on the pronunciation of segmentals while developing automaticity and autonomy. By the end of 2019, the results showed a significant improvement in students’ performance. These techniques can now be implemented in the new normal by utilizing some ICT tools.
Keywords: Segmental Features, Phonemic Transcription, Reading Aloud, Recording, Learning Strategies, Autonomy, Automaticity