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LINGUIST List 18.42

Tue Jan 09 2007

Qs: Teaching of English Pronunciation to the Japanese

Editor for this issue: Kevin Burrows <kevinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Warren Showalter, Teaching of English Pronunciation to the Japanese

Message 1: Teaching of English Pronunciation to the Japanese
Date: 02-Jan-2007
From: Warren Showalter <lngwshowlivjm.ac.uk>
Subject: Teaching of English Pronunciation to the Japanese


I'm currently undertaking a study in how English pronunciation is taught to
the Japanese.

As you may be aware, Japanese has the phonetic script ''Katakana'' with
which it transliterates loan words into its language. This presents
problems if it is used as a guide to pronunciation as it doesn't fully
convey all the phonetics of English. Furthermore, if the IPA is used, then
there is still the problem of how the pronuncitation of those sounds and
symbols is taught. I have asked Japanese people who I know how they were
taught with mixed responses.

I have also written to the major English conversation schools in Japan, and
even the Japanese ministry of Education in a bid to get an official line;
but months later, I have only received one reply from one of the
conversation schools.

Cursory exploration of other studies in this area have not got me far
either, as they seem to be a bit thin on the ground; and so I ask if anyone
is aware of, and can point me in the direction of, the work of others
relating to this issue. Regardless of how tenuous the link may be, it may
prove invaluable to me.

I offer my thanks in advance.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
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