Segmental versus suprasegmental: Which one is more important to teach?

Xue WANG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article considers the continuing debate in pronunciation instruction (PI) about whether segmental or suprasegmental features are more important in teaching English to speakers of other languages. While evidence has accumulated on both sides of the debate, the emergence of the notion of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) further complicates the issue. This article provides a review of current research supporting the different views in the segmental/suprasegmental debate. The review highlights research evidence that examines either the impact of segmental and suprasegmental features on intelligibility or the effectiveness of teaching these features to improve intelligibility. A review of this line of research underlines the context-specific nature of the debate and a third view that blurs the boundary between segmentals and suprasegmentals. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
JournalRELC Journal
Early online dateJun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2020

Citation

Wang, X. (2020). Segmental versus suprasegmental: Which one is more important to teach? RELC Journal. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0033688220925926

Keywords

  • Segmental/suprasegmental features
  • Pronunciation instruction
  • English as a Lingua Franca

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