An inquiry into the perceived and actualized efficacy of individualized second language pronunciation instruction



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Though communicative methodologies have been preeminent over the past several decades, the skill of L2/FL pronunciation instruction has remained in the shadows, having been relegated to the sidelines along with the outdated methodologies with which it was taught. The purpose of this study was to gan insight into the efficacy of one types of second language pronunciation instruction: Individualized English pronunciation instruction under the Covert Rehearsal Model (Dickerson, 1989). To this end, seventeen university ESL students from various degree programs were recruited to receive six hours of English pronunciation tutoring spread out across six to eight weeks. Instruction was provided by eleven MA student-teachers (tutors), who concurrently received instruction in applied linguistics and pronunciation pedagogy. To evaluate the actual and perceived efficacy of the model. this study drew upon multiple instruments, such as recorded pre- and post-student-assessments, student and tutor questionnaires, and tutor portfolios. Study results indicated that (a) the individualized pronunciation instruction provided by graduate student-teachers was effective in improving tutees' reading of English reduced vowels, contracted words, intonation contours, and primary phrasal stress, and (b) tutees perceived their instruction as both effective and personally empowering.