Selling Seashells: English Pronunciation Training in Dutch Secondary Schools
Bergh, H. van den
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Pronunciation training in English classes in Dutch secondary schools is far from clear cut. Though ‘good pronunciation’ is often listed as a requirement for graduation, the exact definition of this ‘good pronunciation’ is not specified. In light of this, two questions can be asked. First of all, which sounds are most important to good pronunciation? Several studies are compared to establish what is necessary for communication with native speakers of English as well as non-native speakers with a different L1 background, the preferences of Dutch learners themselves, and finally the weight that these sounds carry, so that a ‘top five’ of sounds can be established. A second question that will be asked is: what is the best way to teach pronunciation? A closer look at why, how, when, for how long, and with what we should teach it is offered. By putting the answers to these two questions together, a proposition for English pronunciation training in secondary schools in The Netherlands emerges.