Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Iranian Efl Learners' English Pronunciation Problems and the Useful Suggestions to Teach Them

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Iranian Efl Learners' English Pronunciation Problems and the Useful Suggestions to Teach Them

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

English is the most important language throughout the world and the means of teaching and communication in significant fields like technology, research, trade, and medicine. As a result, individuals and groups try to learn English for various reasons and objectives. Due to easy access to journey, globalization of business and industry and the wish for non-native speakers to communicate with native speakers of English, English learners should pay attention to their ability to communicate in the second or foreign language (Butler-Pascoe & Wiburg, 2003).

The phonology of a target language involves the theory and knowledge about how the sound system of the target language works. Due to the fact that sounds have a significant role in communication, EFL teachers should devote much of their time to teaching pronunciation in their classes (Gordani & Khajavi, 2012). Pronunciation is an important part of learning oral skills in a second/foreign language and the amount of time and effort devoted to it depends on the teachers (Hismanoglu & Hismanoglu, 2010; Gordani & Khajavi, 2012). Teachers should know the sound system of the language that their learners speak so that they can predict difficulties and understand the sources of their errors (Celce-Murcia, 1991; Gordani & Khajavi, 2012).

Fraser (2000a as cited in Hashemian & Heidari Soureshjani, 2012) stated that a lot of EFL learners have serious problems with English pronunciation after years of learn-ing English language. According to Hinofotis and Baily (1981 as cited in Hashemian & Heidari Soureshjani, 2012), pronunciation severely impairs the communication process in EFL/ESL learners not vocabulary or grammar. According to Fraser (2006 as cited in Pourasghar & Abdolmanafi-Rokni, 2015), pronunciation is of vital importance to the foreign language learning because it increases understandability.

Pronunciation is very important because it is part of successful communication process and plays a significant role in language learning. Morley (1991) stated that understandable pronunciation is one of the fundamental purposes of pronunciation instruction not perfect pronunciation. It is a necessary part of communicative competence. Perfect pronunciation should not be the basic goal for language learners. Realistic goals that are acceptable, effective, and appropriate for communication should be adopted for learners.

According to Faizul (2012), pronunciation is closely related to communication. When we communicate with other people particularly to native speakers, we should not only have good grammar and vocabulary knowledge but also acceptable pronunciation in order to be understood by native speakers. If we do not speak clearly, other people will not understand us and this may stop communication. Learners should be able to understand pronunciation when people speak with different accents in real situations.

According to Rajadurai (2001), the primary purpose of including listening and speaking skills in any course is to teach English pronunciation as an important oral communication part for learners because it is not reasonable to take away pronunciation from communication. Because of the significance of meaningful communication and understandable pronunciation, it is illogical to teach pronunciation in just pronunciation classes or in listening/speaking classes in some specific programs.

According to Vafaei (2013), Iranian EFL teachers do not pay enough attention to the pronunciation of words by their learners because they do not know how to pronounce the words appropriately. Behzadi and Fahimniya (2014) said that pronunciation is the most neglected part of English teaching in Iran. For this reason, other skills such as grammar and vocabulary are much better understood by most Iranian EFL teachers than pronunciation. Feedback obtained from this study would help Iranian EFL learners to understand the reasons of their pronunciation problems and solve them. …

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