A Preliminary Investigation of the Effects of Visual Cues on Sentence Stress Production of EFL Elementary Students


Teaching English phonics is a common practice in pronunciation instruction in Taiwan’s elementary English language classes. However, elementary students in Taiwan often perform poorly on suprasegmentals like intonation and sentence stress, and the suprasegmental aspects of English are not emphasized in class and in textbooks. Nevertheless, research findings support the teaching of suprasegmentals as it brings benefits to students’ communicative competence. Therefore, this study attempted to explore the effect of visual cues used in a written text on Taiwan elementary students’ sentence stress production. The participants (11 elementary students) were given a reading aloud task where the experimental group used a written text with visual cues on sentence stress and the control group used the same text but without the visual cues. The relatively low scores on the three rating items (sentence stress, fluency and pronunciation) for most students in both groups reflected that the text might be too difficult for the students’ level or the students lacked practice time. The results indicated that in order for EFL elementary students, who are beginners of English, to apply sentence stress, teachers should make sure that they are familiar with the words and have confidence in word production first. Also, explicit teaching of sentence stress might be needed.

Author Information
Lim-Ha Chan, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2015
Stream: Linguistics

This paper is part of the ACLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon