Optimizing second language pronunciation instruction: Replications of Martin and Sippel (2021), Olson and Offerman (2021), and Thomson (2012)
Language Teaching, 2023-04-12
An important shift in language learning research is the understanding that pronunciation instruction is necessary to ensure learners’ balanced development in pronunciation and second language (L2) speech. Research focusing on understanding what types of pronunciation instruction are effective and what makes them most effective has grown dramatically over the past decade. Given the methodological heterogeneity apparent in this body of literature, however, many questions remain to understand the specific effects of pronunciation training paradigms on learners’ L2 development. In this article, we make the case that replication is a productive means of validating findings and assessing the strength of existing evidence in L2 pronunciation research. As prime targets for replication, we review three studies that offer different perspectives on how L2 pronunciation instruction can be optimized. We have chosen each of these studies because they significantly advance the field conceptually, have broken new ground empirically, and point to areas in which replication studies can have a large impact. We describe a series of close and/or approximate replications of each initial study that would add detail to existing knowledge and provide a more comprehensive understanding of how and why L2 pronunciation instruction is effective, for whom, and under what conditions.