A Comparative Study of Intuitive-imitative and Analytic-linguistic Approaches towards Teaching English Vowels to L2 Learners

Mahmood Hashemian, Batool Fadaei
2011 Journal of Language Teaching and Research  
In spite of the importance of pronunciation in L2 learning, its training has remained largely neglected in the field of English language teaching (ELT) and does not have a secure place in most L2 curricula (Setter & Jenkins, 2005). On the importance of teaching speech features, Celce-Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin (1996) introduce the intuitive-imitative approach, an approach that deals with listening and imitating the sounds and rhythms of an L2 without explicit teaching. It can be done by using
more » ... audiotapes, videos, and computer programs. On the other hand, a majority of L2 teachers use the analytic-linguistic approach, an approach in which they use explicit and structured teaching of speech features by articulatory descriptions, charts of speech, phonetic alphabet, and vowel charts. This study was an attempt to investigate the effectiveness of intuitive-imitative and analytic-linguistic approaches on teaching pure vowels and diphthongs, and also, sought to examine whether elementary L2 learners respond differently to the abovementioned approaches. The participants were 40 Iranian L2 learners attending a language school in Isfahan in the form of 2 elementary classes. In one class, English vowels were taught through intuitive-imitative approach, and in the other one, through analytic-linguistic approach. Then, the participants ' audio-recorded data were given to an English native-speaker instructor to be rated. The results of the paired samples t test and comparing means indicated that the L2 learners taught through the intuitive-imitative approach had a better pronunciation in diphthongs, and accordingly, the L2 learners taught through the analytic-linguistic approach outperformed in pure vowels. The study could have some implications for L2 research and pedagogy that will be discussed throughout the paper. Index Terms-intuitive-imitative approach, analytic-linguistic approach, pure vowels, diphthongs JOURNAL OF LANGUAGE TEACHING AND RESEARCH
doi:10.4304/jltr.2.5.969-976 fatcat:xsjxawpdpnbrxilvuyqfsd33le