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ItemTeaching English Stress: Can Song-Lyric Reading Combined with Mobile Learning Be Beneficial to Non-English Majors?(Assumption University Press, 2018)Although stress patterns in English and Chinese are strikingly different, most English learners in China have overlooked or ignored this difference, resulting in poor speaking performance. In an attempt to approach this issue, this study designs the mobile assisted language learning (MALL) based instruction by integrating stress lessons on the mobile application and adopting song lyric-reading as stress pattern training, aiming to help college students improve their speaking performance in terms of English stress. Two groups of Chinese freshman (N=60), non-English majors, participated in the study by separately receiving the MALL-based lyric-reading instruction and the in-classroom lyric- reading instruction. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect data. Quantitative data comprise scores of both pre- and post-test, and qualitative data include an interview used to gain participants’ insights after the experiment. The results suggest that students with the former instruction achieve a better learning outcome. The study also extends the theoretical sphere of English stress learning by providing empirical findings such as stricter scoring rubrics for reading-aloud tests and the Chinese pronoun- fossilization influence on stress acquisition.
ItemCurrent Debates in the Theory and Teaching of English L2 Pronunciation(Assumption University Press, 2018)Ironically, the single concept that appears to be universal in the field of English pronunciation research and instruction, its common denominator as it were, is diversity. Research theory and classroom practice have both convincingly proven that explicit training may indeed lead to improvements in a learner’s clarity of speech, but it seems that everything else is open for debate. Variability in opinions begins with different interpretations of basic concepts, of individual speech sounds, syllables, phrases and utterances. Correctly identifying research foci, and by extension, educational priorities for classroom instruction also divides English L2 pronunciation professionals. Models are yet another area of contention – whether to focus on traditional pronunciation points of reference, e.g. features of Received Pronunciation or General American, or to concentrate instead on interactions where no native speaker is present, as proposed by the English as an International Language (EIL) framework. Next, dispelling doubts about its effectiveness can be a challenging endeavour when progress often manifests in small increments which require a significant investment of time and effort. Finally, the decision to incorporate digital technology and the Internet into the pronunciation classroom remains a dividing line between enthusiasts and those that call CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning) a fad that will soon pass. The purpose of this paper is to examine these hotly debated issues, while acknowledging that its emphasis on depth may be at the expense of breadth. Its scope will allow it to touch upon but the most significant disputes, those that bridge research theory with English L2 pronunciation classroom practice.