Does Phonetics = Pronunciation? 100 Years of Phonetics in Pronunciation Teaching

  • Patricia Ashby University of Westminster
Keywords: general phonetics, applied phonetics, pronunciation training, ear-training, perceptual approach, Daniel Jones, A. C. Gimson

Abstract

The short answer to the question in the title is: not exactly, no. This paper examines the confusion between phonetics on the one hand and pronunciation on the other. It looks at what phonetics actually is (its acoustic, articulatory and auditory components), and attempts to dispel the popular myth that studying or teaching ‘(English) phonetics’ and studying or teaching ‘(English) pronunciation’ are one and the same thing – in fact, the former is general phonetics, the latter applied phonetics. Reviewing 100 years of thoughts about English pronunciation teaching (from Daniel Jones to Geoff Lindsey) it examines the contribution phonetics is considered to make in this field, looking at the roles of both phonetic theory and ear-training in pronunciation acquisition from teachers’ and learners’ perspectives. It concludes by summarizing what phonetics today can offer the language learner.

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Published
2020-10-30
How to Cite
AshbyP. (2020). Does Phonetics = Pronunciation? 100 Years of Phonetics in Pronunciation Teaching. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 17(2), 9-26. https://doi.org/10.4312/elope.17.2.9-26