J.M. Levis, Intelligibility, Oral Communication, and the Teaching of Pronunciation, Cambridge Applied Linguistics Series, Vol. 27, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2018

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Globalization has had many notable effects on communication in the past decades. Two of them are: firstly, that English has become a major lingua franca for conducting business, gaining education, and engaging in social interaction; and secondly, that in these communication situations, "many, if not most, interactions in English around the world take place without the involvement of a native speaker" (p.3). Furthermore, compared to other levels of language such as syntax and morphology, pronunciation is, according to most empirical evidence, the make-it-or-break-it factor when it comes to informationally and socially successful conversations among non-native (L2) speakers of English as well as between L2 speakers and native (L1) speakers. In other words, globalization of economics and the media have given a new meaning to the research and teaching of phonological and phonetic issues. It is against this background that the monograph of John M. Levis was written. With a focus on English, its chapters are built around questions like How should the fact that most oral communication in the world today takes place between L2 speakers shape the research and training of phonological and phonetic issues? How can we determine the relative importance of segmental and prosodic features for speech intelligibility and, thus, better decide which features should be given priority in L2 teaching? And to what extent should these decisions take into account contextual, situational, stylistic, and linguistic variables?
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhonetica: International Journal of Phonetic Science
Volume76
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)289-293
ISSN0031-8388
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17. May 2020

Keywords

  • intelligibility
  • foreign accent
  • L2
  • comprehension
  • second-language teaching
  • phonetics
  • phonology
  • prosody

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