Promoting the correct production of English sounds in extensive reading-circle classes: Explicit vs. implicit pronunciation training

Correct pronunciation of English words is of vital significance for mutual intelligibility in the EFL context. Despite its prominence in L2 learning, teachers of English cannot decide whether and how to implement pronunciation practice into their teaching practices. For this reason, pronunciation training is widely neglected in language classes or learners of English might learn incorrect pronunciation of segmental units causing fossilization in L2 setting. The importance of pronunciation training has been highlighted in the related literature. Keeping this fact in mind, this study aims to explore whether explicit pronunciation instruction has a superiority over implicit instruction in extensive reading classes. To reach this purpose, two groups of successive B1-level Intensive English Program (IEP) students were chosen through convenience sampling technique. Before training, both groups were given a pre-test of segmental unit pronunciation consisting of the most frequented words in the book used for the extensive reading classes at B1 level. Then the participants in the control group received implicit pronunciation training in which the language instructor did not directly focus on phonemic properties of English sounds. However, explicit pronunciation training was implemented into the teaching practices in the experimental group. The teaching period lasted eight weeks, and following this period both groups were given a post-test to unravel the level of improvement in each group. The results of this study revealed that explicit pronunciation training is more advantageous for B1 level students than the implicit one due to various reasons.


Anthony, L. (2019). AntConc (Version 3.5.8) [Computer Software]. Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. Available from Bardakci, M. (2015). Turkish EFL pre-service teachers’ pronunciation problems. Educational Research and Reviews, 10(16), 2370-2378. doi:10.5897/ERR2015.2396

Brinton, D. M. (2017). Pronunciation. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (Vol. 3, pp. 257-270). New York, NY: Routledge.

Çakır, İ. (2012). Promoting correct pronunciation through supported audio materials for EFL learners. Energy Education Science and Technology Part B: Social and Educational Studies, 4(3), 1801-1812.

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., & Goodwin, J. M. (1996). Teaching pronunciation: A reference for teachers of English to speakers of other languages. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chan, R., & Leung, J. (2014). Implicit learning of L2 word stress regularities. Second Language Research, 30(4), 463-483.

Couper, G. (2011). What makes pronunciation teaching work? Testing for the effect of two variables: socially constructed metalanguage and critical listening. Language Awareness, 20(3), 159-182.

Darcy, I. (2018). Powerful and effective pronunciation instruction: How can we achieve it? The CATESOL Journal, 30(1), 13– 45. Retrieved from

Demirezen, M. (2003). Turkish learners’ pronunciation problems caused by the English phoneme of THETA. Tömer Language Journal, 120, 57-71.

Demirezen, M. (2005). The /o/ and /ow/ contrast: Curing a fossilized pronunciation error of Turkish teacher trainees of the English language. Çankaya University Journal of Arts and Sciences, 1(3), 71-84. Retrieved from

Demirezen, M. (2010). The principles and applications of the audio-lingual pronunciation rehabilitation model in foreign language teacher education. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 6(2), 127-147. Retrieved from

Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2005). Second language accent and pronunciation teaching: A research-based approach. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 379-397.

Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2008). Segmental acquisition in adult ESL learners: A Longitudinal study of vowel production. Language Learning, 58(3), 479-502.

Derwing, T. M., & Rossiter, M. J. (2002). ESL learners’ perceptions of their pronunciation needs and strategies. System, 30(2), 155-166.

Derwing, T. M., Munro, M. J., & Wiebe, G. (1998). Evidence in favor of a broad framework for pronunciation instruction. Language Learning, 48(3), 393‐410.

Flege, J. E., Yeni-Komshian, G. H., & Liu, S. (1999). Age constraints on second-language acquisition. Journal of Memory & Language, 41(1), 78-104.

Fraser, H. (1999). ESL pronunciation teaching: Could it be more effective? Australian Language Matters, 7(4), 7-8.

Fraser, H. (2000). Coordinating improvements in pronunciation teaching for adult learners of English as a second language. Canberra, Australia: Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

Fraser, H. (2006). Helping teachers help students with pronunciation: A cognitive approach. Prospect: A Journal of Australian TESOL, 21(1), 80-96. Retrieved from

Gattegno, C. (1963). Teaching foreign languages in schools: The silent way. Reading: Educational Explorers.

Pourhosein Gilakjani, A. (2012). A Study of factors affecting EFL Learners' English pronunciation learning and the strategies for instruction. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(3), 119-128.

Hişmanoğlu, M. (2007). [ɔː] and [oʊ] contrast as fossilized pronunciation error of Turkish learners of English and solutions to the problem. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 3(1), 98-116. Retrieved from

Hismanoglu, M. (2006). Current perspectives on pronunciation learning and teaching. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 2(1), 101-110. Retrieved from

Hymes, D. H. (1972). On communicative competence. In J. B. Pride & J. Holmes (Eds.), Sociolinguistics: Selected readings (pp. 269-293). Baltimore, MD: Penguin.

Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an international language: New models, new norms, new goals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jenkins, J. (2007). English as a lingua franca: Attitude and identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Khanbeiki, R., & Abdolmanafi-Rokni, S. J. (2015). The effect of explicit vs. implicit instruction on the learnability of English consonant clusters by Iranian learners of English. Advances in Language and Literary Studies, 6(2), 103-112. Retrieved from

Kissling, E. M. (2013). Teaching pronunciation: Is explicit phonetics instruction beneficial for FL learners? The Modern Language Journal, 97(3), 720-744.

Larsen-Freeman, D., & Anderson, M. (2011). Techniques & principles in language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lightbown, P. M., & Spada, N. (2013). How languages are learned. London: Oxford University Press.

Morley, J. (1991). The pronunciation component in teaching English to speakers of other languages. TESOL Quarterly, 25(3), 481-520.

Nation, I. S. P., & Meara, P. (2010). Vocabulary. In N. Schmitt (Ed.), An introduction to applied linguistics (Second Edition, pp. 34-52). London, UK: Edward Arnold.

Papachristou, V. (2011). Explicit vs. implicit pronunciation teaching to Greek children: The case of the acquisition of English vowels. Selected papers on theoretical and applied linguistic, 19(1), 371-381.

Preston, D. R. (1981). The ethnography of TESOL. TESOL Quarterly, 15(2), 105-116.

Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2006). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Saito, K. (2011). Identifying problematic segmental features to acquire comprehensible pronunciation in EFL settings: The case of Japanese learners of English. RELC Journal, 42(3), 363–378.

Saka, Z. (2015). The effectiveness of audiobooks on pronunciation skills of EFL learners at different proficiency levels (Unpublished Master’s Thesis). İhsan Doğramacı Bilkent University, Ankara.

Schmidt, R. (1990). The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 11(2), 120-158.

Seidlhofer, B. (2005). English as a lingua franca. ELT Journal, 59(4), 339–341.

Silveria, R. (2011). Pronunciation instruction and syllabic-pattern discrimination. DELTA, 27(1), 21-36.

Sturm, J. 2013. Explicit phonetics Instruction in L2 French: a Global Analysis of Improvement. System, 41(3), 654-662.

Underhill, A. (2005). Sound foundations: Learning and teaching pronunciation. Oxford: Macmillan Publishers.

Türker, H. (2010). Common mistakes of Turkish secondary students in pronunciation of English words and possible solutions (Unpublished master's thesis). Çanakkale On Sekiz Mart University, Çanakkale.

VanPattern, B. (1996). Input processing and grammar instruction: Theory and research. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Venkatagiri, H. S., & Levis, J. M. (2007). Phonological awareness and speech comprehensibility: An exploratory study. Language Awareness, 16(4), 263-277.

Walker, R. (2010). Teaching the pronunciation of English as a lingua franca. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Zhang F., & Yin, P. (2009). A study of pronunciation problems of English learners in China. Asian Social Science, 5(6), 141-146. doi:10.5539/ass.v5n6p141

Kaynak Göster