Teachers’ Knowledge and Classroom Practices of Pronunciation in Lower Secondary School in Norway
This study investigates English pronunciation teaching among Norwegian teachers with regards to classroom practices and knowledge of this subject matter. In addition, the research aims to find out the role that formal education has when it comes to teaching pronunciation. This includes the amount of formal education in teaching and in English that the teachers have, and additionally what it could indicate when it comes to the teachers’ knowledge and practice of subject matter. The final aspect that will be investigated in this study is what teachers think and consider good English pronunciation to be. Since there are no national criteria for assessment of pronunciation, this question may lead to quite subjective answers. The data was obtained through interviews. There were six English teachers who took part in the study, all of whom work in the lower secondary school. The topics of the interview included the teachers’ own cognition, their teacher training background, classroom practices and expectation and assessment of pupils’ English pronunciation. Previous research on this topic suggests that teachers should be aware of how their knowledge and confidence of subject matter affect their teaching of it. Additional research on this topic indicates the importance of explicit pronunciation teaching, but also how formal education will aid teachers in developing their cognition of subject matters. The results from this study indicate that teachers’ knowledge of pronunciation as a subject matter appears to be adequate. Even though their confidence in their own pronunciation is high. However, the actual teaching practices and awareness of its importance appear to be more limited. The tendency is that pedagogical insight and self-perception of subject matter are attained through a formal education of quality in pronunciation and pedagogy. Still, having a lot of formal education in the subject matter is also of importance as the teachers appear to be more competent in teaching pronunciation spontaneously together with other language areas with more ease. To some informants, pronunciation is part of the oral assessment of pupils and to others, it is an indication as to the accent they encourage their pupils to speak with in English. However, all of the informants seem to agree that having a distinct pronunciation that is intelligible is important when it comes to assessing pupils’ spoken English.
ForlagUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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