The effects of explicit instruction in elementary to-intermediate EFL students' intelligibility using Reading Aloud
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The effects of explicit instruction in elementary to-intermediate EFL students' intelligibility using Reading Aloud






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The effects of explicit instruction in elementary to-intermediate EFL students' intelligibility using Reading Aloud The effects of explicit instruction in elementary to-intermediate EFL students' intelligibility using Reading Aloud Presentation Transcript

  • The Effects of Explicit Instruction in Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL Students’ Intelligibility Using Reading Aloud Seminario de Titulación para optar al Título de Profesor de Inglés Licenciado en Educación Maximiliano Fernando Ayala Pozo Profesor Guía: Mg. Luis G. Vera V. Valparaíso, Chile 2013
  • Background of the Study Statement of the Problem Statement of Purpose General and Specific Objectives Researching Questions Hypotheses
  • Statement of the Problem Various studies (Derwing & Munro, 2003; Centeno, 2001; Saito, 2011; Ventakagiri and Levis, 2007) show that explicit pronunciation instruction is beneficial for language learners. However, according to Derwing et al (2005), “not much less research has been carried out on L2 pronunciation than no other skills such as grammar and vocabulary.” (p. 380). In sum, there is an absence of pronunciation research and explicit pronunciation instruction in the language class, especially at a local level.
  • Statement of Purpose To do an eight session pedagogical intervention that serves as a guide for teaching pronunciation. To provide the necessary knowledge for future studies related to explicit pronunciation instruction.
  • General and Specific Objectives General Objective:  To determine if explicit instruction using the reading aloud task increases the level of intelligibility in Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL students. Specific Objectives:  To conduct eight explicit pronunciation instruction sessions.  To compare students’ initial levels of intelligibility with the final ones.  To apply tests to measure the levels of intelligibility.
  • Researching Questions Does an eight session pedagogical intervention on explicit pronunciation teaching increase the level of intelligibility in Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL students? Is reading aloud a useful technique for measuring Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL students’ intelligibility?
  • Hypotheses An eight session pedagogical intervention on explicit pronunciation teaching using the reading aloud task increases the level of intelligibility in Elementary-toIntermediate EFL students. Reading aloud is a useful technique for measuring Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL students’ intelligibility.
  • Theoretical Framework Defining Intelligibility. The Teaching of Pronunciation:  The Problem with the Pronunciation Component. The Controversy between Explicit and Implicit Instruction. Explicit Instruction and Metaphonological Awareness. Advantages and Disadvantages of Using RA. What Model of English Should Be Taught?
  • Defining Intelligibility A variety of definitions and explanations are offered by many authors (Derwing & Munro, 2005; Celce-Murcia, 2010; Kenworthy, 1987, among others) Kenworthy, 1987: the more words a listener identifies from a speaker, the more intelligible that speaker is (even if the speaker has an accent.) Celce-Murcia, 2010: intelligibility is not a lack of accent but an accent that does not distract the listener. Derwing & Munro, 2005: Native like pronunciation is difficult (if not impossible) to achieve. Abercrombie, 1949: Ss need no more than an intelligible pronunciation. Kenworthy, 1987: Intelligibility as a realistic goal.
  • The Teaching of Pronunciation The Problem with the Pronunciation Component (Kelly, 2001):  Teachers admit they lack the necessary knowledge.  Learners show considerable enthusiasm on pronunciation.  There is an interest on pronunciation on both sides. However, it is often neglected.  Because of this situation, one of the aims of this study is to provide the necessary knowledge for language teachers.
  • Explicit VS. Implicit A topic that has been dealt by many authors. Implicit:  Students discover the grammar point by themselves. Explicit:  The teacher gives the grammar explanation. A lot of studies have been carried out (Green and Karlheinz, 1992; McCandless and Winitz, 1986; Scott, 1989; Seliger, 1975, etc.). However, these studies are not conclusive. When one appears supporting implicit instruction, another one appears supporting explicit instruction.
  • Explicit Instruction and Metaphonological Awareness Explicit: Rules first, examples later. Derwing et al, 2005: students benefit from learning explicitly, that means, making differences between sounds and their own productions. Explicit instruction helps develop metaphonological awareness (conscious knowledge of phonetics.) (Ventakagiri and Levis, 2007.). Ventakagiri and Levis, 2007: 14 tasks to measure students’ phonetic knowledge. Better results! Centeno, 2001: Similar study. 60% of the participants got better results.
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of Using RA Advantages Disadvantages 1. Focus on the form language and the mechanics of the L2. 1. Dull and boring. Anxiety provoking. Demotivating. 2. Association of word and sound. 2. Little room for comprehension. 3. Awareness of prosodic features 3. It slows reading speed. 4. Opportunities for practice and feedback. 4. It does not help in spontaneous speech. 5. Day-to-day activities: instructions, modeling, news, etc. 5. Focus on English spelling = more errors. 6. Development of reading fluency. 6. Not a skill many people need. 7. Applying phonetics knowledge. 7. It is difficult even for NS.
  • What Model of English Should Be Taught? No need to answer this question. Ss may need to learn ESL, EFL, EIL, etc. However, participants are part of an English Pedagogy course of studies. Gimson, 2008: Amalgam English. Amalgam English: Am. Eng. + Br. Engl., among other variations NNSs use. Amalgam English was used since Ss may need a variation that includes either Am. or Br. English.
  • Operational Framework  Design  The Participants  Demographic Information about the Participants.  Data Collection Procedure.  Instrumentation.  Description of the Pedagogical Intervention.  Data Analysis Procedure.  Results of the Participants’ Performance.
  • Methodology Design:  Quasi Experimental research.  Quantitative approach.  An intelligibility rubric was used. Participants:  20 English pedagogy students from UPLA (a lot of input!)  All Chileans.  Previously organized by the institution.  The intervention was not part of their course of studies.
  • Methodology Demographic Information:  Collected in the institution.  15 women, 5 men. 20 people in total.  Ages ranged between 21 to 25 years old. Data Collection Procedure:  Information about the intervention.  Ss were recorded (pretest).  Judges used an intelligibility rubric.  Once the course finished, Ss were recorded again (posttest).
  • Methodology Instrumentation  RA task, intelligibility rubric (Gerhiser and Wrenn, 2007.). Why?  Equivalent stretches of speech can be judged.  Reading comprehension and lack of nature of the text? Not this case!  Reading comprehension is not measured.  Teachers need it for many situations.  RA was used as a first-step measuring technique.
  • Elements of Speech Consonants: Does the speaker have repeated problems with any consonants or clusters? Vowels: Do vowel sounds negatively affect intelligibility? Syllables and Grammatical Endings: -s endings (Americans, relationships) -d endings (considered, appreciated) Word stress: Does stress fall on the appropriate syllable? Rhythm and Intonation: Does the speaker speak in a natural rhythm? Or does language sound abrupt or choppy? Is every word given the same stress? Focus and Special Emphasis: Does the speaker use emphatic stress to indicate key words, contrasts (not only/all), etc.? Intonation/Pitch: Does tone rise and fall in the appropriate places? Or, does it sound monotone? Thought Groups and Linking: Does the speaker pause at commas and other appropriate places? Delivery (rate of speech, loudness): Does the speaker speak too loudly or quietly, too fast, or too slow? Number of Errors
  • Methodology Description of the Pedagogical Intervention:  Session I: pretest and presentation of the course.  Session II: vowels, consonants, and diphthongs.  Session III: strong and weak syllables.  Session IV: strong and weak forms.  Session V: linking sounds and sentence stress.  Session VI: emphasis and assimilation.  Session VII: rhythm and intonation.  Session VIII: end of intervention, posttest.
  • Methodology Data Analysis Procedure:  A board of judges analyzed the recordings (3 NSs, and 2 NN teachers of English.)  Intelligibility rubric.  Salient mistakes and errors were counted.
  • Results Consonants 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Consonants Pretest Posttest
  • Results Vowels 9.2 9 8.8 8.6 8.4 8.2 8 7.8 7.6 7.4 Vowels Pretest Posttest
  • Results Syllables and Grammatical Endings: 9 8 7 6 5 Pretest 4 Posttest 3 2 1 0 Syllables and Grammatical Endings
  • Results Word Stress 12 10 8 6 Pretest Posttest 4 2 0 Word Stress
  • Results Rhythm and Intonation 35 30 25 20 Pretest 15 Posttest 10 5 0 Rhythm and Intonation
  • Results Focus and Special Emphasis 1 0.9 0.8 0.7 0.6 0.5 Pretest 0.4 Posttest 0.3 0.2 0.1 0 Focus and Special Emphasis
  • Results Intonation/Pitch 4.5 4 3.5 3 2.5 Pretest 2 Posttest 1.5 1 0.5 0 Intonation/Pitch
  • Results Thought Groups and Linking 3.5 3 2.5 2 Pretest 1.5 Posttest 1 0.5 0 Thought Groups and Linking
  • Results Delivery 2.5 2 1.5 Pretest Posttest 1 0.5 0 Delivery
  • General Conclusions An explicit instruction intervention increases the level of intelligibility of Elementary-to-Intermediate EFL students when reading aloud. RA is a difficult technique to use when its purpose is not clear in the EFL classroom. Explicit instruction helps students get the chance to learn the necessary tips to become more intelligible in oral situations and explain these features (novice teachers need it!)
  • Limitations of the Study Eight sessions were planned. However, more sessions would have been carried out in order to cover more contents. The use of RA along with spontaneous speech. Little control on the variable of improvement of the participants (they previously received a lot of input)
  • Pedagogical Implications Explicit instruction increases the levels of intelligibility. Teachers should explain pronunciation explicitly to adults. RA should be used for pronunciation purposes, not to measure reading comprehension. Teachers could use RA when the semester has just begun in order to measure their students’ intelligibility and intervene. The implementation of this technique should be at least used for formative assessment.
  • Thank You for Your Attention!