From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference
Edited By Robert Wilkinson and Mary Louise Walsh
A comparative study on the use of pronunciation strategies for highlighting information in university lectures
Abstract The effectiveness of the transmission of academic content through a foreign language resides in the successful use of pronunciation to ensure the students correctly understand academic information. Intelligibility may be affected by an improper use of phoneme distinctions. However, it is the suprasegmental features that are responsible for ensuring the necessary degree of intelligibility (Brown, 1992, p. 11; McNerney & Mendelsohn, 1992, p. 186). More specifically, students need to identify the important information correctly in order to proceed smoothly in the assimilation of content (Flowerdew, 1994). Starting from comparative research from the Universities of Brussels and Cordoba on the relationship between university teachers’ pronunciation and intelligibility, this paper will review the importance of training teachers to use pronunciation effectively. It will also show that training teachers to use techniques for the identification and highlighting of relevant information produces noticeable benefits in the achievement of intelligibility and comprehensibility.
Key words: intelligibility/comprehensibility; pronunciation; teacher training; bilingual programmes; higher education
English-medium teaching in higher education is becoming increasingly widespread (van Leeuwen & Wilkinson, 2003; Wilkinson, 2004; Coleman, 2006; Wilkinson & Zegers, 2008; Wächter & Maiworm 2008; Dafouz & Nuñez, 2009). More recently, the literature has described attempts at analysing the key actions and processes that are required to successfully launch and operate higher education degree programmes provided in English (Marsh, Pavón, & Frigols, 2013); the challenges of teaching in multilingual environments (Doiz, Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2013; Van der Walt,...
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