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Integrating teaching practice with developmental norms: the case of phonological teaching in L2

journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2009, 00:00 by RIchard Kwok-Shing Wong, Brian Macwhinney

This paper highlights the crucial role of phonological instruction in early second language English learning. Although older learners can acquire grammar and vocabulary efficiently, younger learners appear to have a greater facility with the learning of sounds. Thus, it makes good sense to focus on articulatory skills for these early learners. By comparing the developmental norms in phonology between an L1 (Cantonese in this study) and an L2, detailed predictions can be provided to guide the process of early phonological instruction. It is important that the teaching of articulation should not be reduced to non‐engaging lessons that can be characterised as ‘drill and kill’. Instead, a framework for improving the articulation of children learning English as a second language is proposed. What is unique about this proposal is that it represents the first attempt in Hong Kong to specify and integrate research findings concerning developmental speech norms with existing teaching practice.

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01/01/2009

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