Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Using Written Instruction in Developing Efl Learners' Stress Recognition at the Pre-Intermediate Level

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Using Written Instruction in Developing Efl Learners' Stress Recognition at the Pre-Intermediate Level

Article excerpt


This article studied the use of word stress recognition rules which may help the learners explain the rules of stress determination. Word stress plays a significant role in understanding spoken English. Word stress is a part of language which is used by English speakers to communicate rapidly and accurately. Comprehensible input (Krashen, 1982) as one of the external factors plays an essential role in learning English language pronunciation. The importance of learning suprasegmentals for language learners has received considerable attention in the last few decades (Foote, Holtby & Derwing, 2011). Generally, supra-segmental features consist of two main elements: stress and intonation.

Burani, Paizi and Sulpizio (2013) found that word frequency and outweighing influenced stress dominance. They argued that neighboring words' stress is the most effective factor in assigning stress to words in reading. The research has shown that the texts and contexts can affect students' vocabulary growth. This article intends to improve learners' stress recognition ability by written instruction of word stress among Iranian EFL learners at the intermediate level. This study attempts to answer the following research questions:

RQ1: Does written instruction develop EFL learners' stress recognition at the intermediate level?

RQ2. Is there a significant difference between written and traditional instruction in developing EFL learners' stress recognition?

2.Literature Review

Hudson (2000) stated that syllables may differ by degree of stress. Stress is the intensity or loudness of airstream and consists of three levels: acute accent mark ['] for primary, the grave accent mark ['] for secondary, and mark [] for tertiary stress. Levis (2007) noted that both researchers and pronunciation teachers increasingly use technology to develop theories and practices which more closely match acoustic reality. Tanner and Landon (2009) examined the effects of computerassisted pronunciation on ESL learners' pausing, stress, intonation and overall comprehensibility. The results showed that computer had a significant effect on learners' perception of pausing, word stress and stress production (Bian, 2013).According to Roach (2009), the following information is required to decide on the stress placement: (I) whether the word is morphologically simple or complex in having one or more affixes. (II) The grammatical category the word belongs to (e.g., noun, verb, adjective, etc). (III) The number of syllables in the word. (IV) The phonological structure of those syllables. He also maintained some rules for placing stress on verbs: in TwoSyllable verbs, if the second syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, or if it ends with more than one consonant, the second syllable is stressed (e.g. "apply" /a'plai/). If the final syllable contains a short vowel and one (or no) final consonant, the first syllable is stressed (e.g., "enter" /'enta/).

Nouns require a different rule in determining word stress: if the second syllable involves a short vowel, the stress will usually come on the first syllable. Otherwise, it will be on the second syllable. (e.g., "money" /'mAni/). In the Three-Syllable nouns, if the last syllable contains a short vowel and ends with not more than one consonant, the stress will be placed on the penultimate syllable (e.g., "encounter" /m'kaunta/). But if the final syllable contains a long vowel or diphthong, and or ends with more than one consonant, that final syllable will be stressed (e.g., "entertain" /enta'tein/). Zarifi and Mukundan (2012) shed light on the extent of agreement between the Malaysian ESL textbooks and the empirical corpus findings concerning the inclusion and presentation of the phrasal verb combinations by adopting a corpus-based approach. Results provided enough insight into the textbook-related difficulties that non-native speakers might experience in learning phrasal verbs and the areas of the pedagogy in need of supplementary activities. …

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