Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676



Language teaching practice is known to come with more or less implicit views on what ‘good pronunciation’ sounds like. However, over the past decades, frameworks such as the communicative approach to language learning and the wish for social inclusion have led to a gradual shift in normative thinking, with intelligibility becoming increasingly valued over the acquisition of a native-like accent, especially at lower levels of proficiency. This contribution traces the evolution of pronunciation norms, ideologies and teaching practices for French and English. We zoom in on the past 150 years, a period in which the relative importance of English and French in international communication was gradually reversed and foreign language learning became a school subject, readily accessible to all pupils. We will supplement our historical overview by an exploratory investigation of current foreign MA foreign language teacher trainees’ experiences and attitudes. While a near-native accent is still seen as a sign of academic success for language students, this new generation of language professionals is very much aware of the fact that pupils who start learning languages in secondary school should first and foremost be sensitized to the target language pronunciation in a safe environment, with feasible and communicatively-relevant norms.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Baran-Łucarz, Małgorzata
    2011 “The Relationship between Language Anxiety and the Actual and Perceived Levels of Foreign Language Pronunciation.” Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching1 (4): 491–514. 10.14746/ssllt.2011.1.4.3
    https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2011.1.4.3 [Google Scholar]
  2. 2014 “The Link between Pronunciation Anxiety and Willingness to Communicate in the Foreign-language Classroom: The Polish EFL Context.” Canadian Modern Language Review70 (4): 445–473. 10.3138/cmlr.2666
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.2666 [Google Scholar]
  3. Berlitz, M. D.
    1888The Berlitz Method for Teaching Modern Languages: English Part (Vol.11). Berlin: Siegfried Cronbach.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Brière, Eugène. J.
    1966 “An Investigation of Phonological Interference.” Language42 (4): 768–796. 10.2307/411832
    https://doi.org/10.2307/411832 [Google Scholar]
  5. Burgess, John, and Sheila Spencer
    2000 “Phonology and Pronunciation in Integrated Language Teaching and Teacher Education.” System28 (2): 191–215. 10.1016/S0346‑251X(00)00007‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0346-251X(00)00007-5 [Google Scholar]
  6. Canepari, Luciano
    2017French Pronunciation & Accents. München: Lincom Europe.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Celce-Murcia, Marianne
    1983 “Teaching Pronunciation Communicatively.” Mextesol Journal7 (1): 10–25.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Celce-Murcia, Marianne, Donna M. Brinton, and Janet M. Goodwin
    1996Teaching Pronunciation: A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Celce-Murcia, Marianne, Donna M. Brinton, Janet M. Goodwin, and Barry Griner
    2010Teaching Pronunciation: A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Colantoni, Laura, and Jeffrey Steele
    2008 “Integrating Articulatory Constraints into Models of Second Language Phonological Acquisition.” Applied Psycholinguistics29 (3): 489–534. 10.1017/S0142716408080223
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716408080223 [Google Scholar]
  11. Cook, Vivian
    1999 “Going beyond the Native Speaker in Language Teaching.” TESOL Quarterly33 (2): 185–209. 10.2307/3587717
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587717 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2016 “Where Is the Native Speaker Now?”. TESOL Quarterly50 (1): 186–189. 10.1002/tesq.286
    https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.286 [Google Scholar]
  13. Council of Europe
    Council of Europe 2001Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Learning, Teaching, Assessment. Strasbourg: Modern Languages Division/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Council of Europe
    Council of Europe 2020Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment – Companion Volume. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Delattre, Pierre
    1951Principes de phonétique française. A l’usage des étudiants anglo-américains. Middlebury, Vermont: Middlebury College.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Derwing, Tracey M.
    2010 “Utopian Goals for Pronunciation Teaching.” InProceedings from the 1st Conference of Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching, ed. byJohn Levis, and Kimberly LeVelle, 24–37. Ames, IA: Iowa State University.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Detey, Sylvain, Isabelle Racine, Yuji Kawaguchi, and Julien Eychenne
    2016La prononciation du français dans le monde. Du natif à l’apprenant. Paris: CLE International.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Dewaele, Jean-Marc, Thomas H. Bak, and Lourdes Ortega
    2022 “Why the Mythical ‘Native Speaker’ Has Mud on its Face.” InChanging Face of the ‘Native Speaker’: Perspectives from multilingualism and globalization, ed. byNikolay Slavkov, Silvia Melo-Pfeifer, and Nadja Kerschhofer-Puhalo, 23–43. Boston/Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Gouin, François
    1892The Art of Teaching and Studying Languages. London: George Philip & Son.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Grammont, Maurice
    1922Traité pratique de prononciation française. Paris: Delagrave.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Hahn, Laura D.
    2004 “Primary Stress and Intelligibility: Research to Motivate the Teaching of Suprasegmentals.” TESOL Quarterly38 (2): 201–223. 10.2307/3588378
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3588378 [Google Scholar]
  22. Hinofotis, Frances, and Kathleen Bailey
    1980 “American Undergraduates’ Reactions to the Communication Skills of Foreign Teaching Assistants.” On TESOL801: 120–133.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Horwitz, Elaine K.
    2010 “Foreign and Second Language Anxiety.” Language Teaching43 (2): 154–167. 10.1017/S026144480999036X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S026144480999036X [Google Scholar]
  24. Huensch, Amanda
    2019 “Pronunciation in Foreign Language Classrooms: Instructors’ Training, Classroom Practices, and Beliefs.” Language Teaching Research23 (6): 745–764. 10.1177/1362168818767182
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818767182 [Google Scholar]
  25. Hymes, Dell
    1972 “On Communicative Competence.” InSociolinguistics: Selected Readings, ed. byJohn. B. Pride, and Janet Holmes, 269–293. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. James, Linda, and Olga Smith
    2006Get Rid of your Accent: the English Pronunciation and Articulation Training Manual. London: Business & Technical Communication Services Limited.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Jarosz, Anna
    2019English Pronunciation in L2 Instruction: The Case of Secondary School Learners. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑030‑13892‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-13892-9 [Google Scholar]
  28. Jenkins, Jennifer
    1998 “Which Pronunciation Norms and Models for English as an International Language?”. ELT Journal52 (2): 119–126. 10.1093/elt/52.2.119
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/52.2.119 [Google Scholar]
  29. 2000The Phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Jones, Daniel
    1917An English Pronouncing Dictionary. London: JM Dent.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Kachru, Braj B.
    1985 “Standards, Codification and Sociolinguistic Realism: English Language in the Outer Circle.” InEnglish in the world: Teaching and Learning the Language and Literatures, ed. byRandolph Quirk, and Henry Widowson, 11–36. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Kang, Okim
    2010 “Relative Salience of Suprasegmental Features on Judgments of L2 Comprehensibility and Accentedness.” System38 (2): 301–315. 10.1016/j.system.2010.01.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2010.01.005 [Google Scholar]
  33. Kang, Okim, and Meghan Moran
    2014 “Functional Loads of Pronunciation Features in Nonnative Speakers’ Oral Assessment.” Tesol Quarterly48 (1): 176–187. 10.1002/tesq.152
    https://doi.org/10.1002/tesq.152 [Google Scholar]
  34. Kennedy, Sara, and Pavel Trofimovich
    2017 “Pronunciation Acquisition.” InThe Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition, ed. byShawn Loewen, and Masatoshi Sato, 260–279. New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315676968‑15
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315676968-15 [Google Scholar]
  35. Ketabi, Saeed, and Fateme Saeb
    2015 “Pronunciation Teaching: Past and Present.” International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature4 (5): 182–189.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Kiczkowiak, Marek
    2021 “Pronunciation in Course Books: English as a Lingua Franca Perspective.” ELT Journal75 (1): 55–66. 10.1093/elt/ccaa068
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccaa068 [Google Scholar]
  37. Leather, Jonathan
    1983 “Second-language Pronunciation Learning and Teaching.” Language Teaching16 (3): 198–219. 10.1017/S0261444800010120
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800010120 [Google Scholar]
  38. Lenoir, P. V.
    1799French Pronunciation and Reading Made Easy: on the Logographic-Emblematical French Spelling-Book. London: Dulau & Co.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Levis, John M.
    2005 “Changing Contexts and Shifting Paradigms in Pronunciation Teaching.” TESOL Quarterly39 (3): 369–377. 10.2307/3588485
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3588485 [Google Scholar]
  40. 2020 “Revisiting the Intelligibility and Nativeness Principles.” Journal of Second Language Pronunciation6 (3): 310–328. 10.1075/jslp.20050.lev
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jslp.20050.lev [Google Scholar]
  41. Lo Bianco, Joseph
    2014 “Domesticating the Foreign: Globalization’s Effects on the Place/s of Languages.” The Modern Language Journal98 (1), 312–325. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2014.12063.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2014.12063.x [Google Scholar]
  42. Martinet, André, and Henriette Walter
    1973Dictionnaire de la prononciation française dans son usage réel. Paris: France-Expansion.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. McLelland, Nicola
    2018 “The History of Language Learning and Teaching in Britain.” The Language Learning Journal46 (1): 6–16. 10.1080/09571736.2017.1382052
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2017.1382052 [Google Scholar]
  44. Michaelis, Hermann, and Paul Passy
    1914Dictionnaire phonétique de la langue française. Hannover/Berlin/Paris: Carl Meyer.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Moyer, Alene
    1999 “Ultimate Attainment in L2 Phonology: The Critical Factors of Age, Motivation, and Instruction.” Studies in Second Language Acquisition21 (1): 81–108. 10.1017/S0272263199001035
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263199001035 [Google Scholar]
  46. Munro, Murray J., and Tracey Derwing
    1995 “Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language Learners.” Language Learning45 (1): 73–97. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1995.tb00963.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1995.tb00963.x [Google Scholar]
  47. 2006 “The Functional Load Principle in ESL Pronunciation Instruction: An Exploratory Study.” System34 (4): 520–531. 10.1016/j.system.2006.09.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2006.09.004 [Google Scholar]
  48. 2020 “Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility and Intelligibility, Redux.” Journal of Second Language Pronunciation6 (3): 283–309. 10.1075/jslp.20038.mun
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jslp.20038.mun [Google Scholar]
  49. Nunan, David
    1987 “Communicative Language Teaching: Making it Work.” ELT Journal41 (2): 136–145. 10.1093/elt/41.2.136
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/41.2.136 [Google Scholar]
  50. Nyrop, Kristoffer
    1902Manuel phonétique du français parlé. 2nd edition. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Pennington, Martha. C.
    2021 “Teaching Pronunciation: The State of the Art 2021.” RELC Journal, 52 (1): 3–21. 10.1177/00336882211002283
    https://doi.org/10.1177/00336882211002283 [Google Scholar]
  52. Pennington, Martha C., and Jack C. Richards
    1986 “Pronunciation Revisited.” TESOL Quarterly20 (2): 207–225. 10.2307/3586541
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586541 [Google Scholar]
  53. Pimsleur, Paul
    1963 “Discrimination Training in the Teaching of French Pronunciation.” The Modern Language Journal47 (5): 199–203.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Prendergast, Thomas
    1864The Mastery of Languages; or, the Art of Speaking Foreign Longues Idiomatically. London: Richard Bentley.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Rooryck, Guy
    2013 “De verloren zegen van een lingua franca: het Frans aan de vooravond van de negentiende eeuw [The lost blessing of a lingua franca: French on the eve of the nineteenth century].” De negentiende eeuw37 (3): 184–200.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Salverda de Grave, J. J.
    1919 “Het onderwijs van de Franse taal in ons land in vroegere tijd [French education in our country in earlier times].” De nieuwe taalgids131: 297–303.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Savignon, Sandra J.
    1987 “Communicative Language Teaching.” Theory into Practice26 (4): 235–242. 10.1080/00405848709543281
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00405848709543281 [Google Scholar]
  58. 1991 “Communicative Language Teaching: State of the Art.” TESOL Quarterly25 (2): 261–277. 10.2307/3587463
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587463 [Google Scholar]
  59. Schueler, Herbert
    1944 “Foreign Language Teaching under the Army Specialized Training Program.” The German Quarterly17 (4): 183–191. 10.2307/400953
    https://doi.org/10.2307/400953 [Google Scholar]
  60. Scovel, Tom
    1969 “Foreign Accent: Language Acquisition and Cerebral Dominance.” Language Learning191: 245–254. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1969.tb00466.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1969.tb00466.x [Google Scholar]
  61. Smakman, Dick
    2020Clear English Pronunciation: a Practical Guide. London/New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780429347382
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429347382 [Google Scholar]
  62. Smith, Larry E.
    1992 “Spread of English and Issues of Intelligibility.” The Other Tongue: English across Cultures21: 75–90.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Sung, Chit Cheung Matthew
    2014 “English as a Lingua Franca and Global Identities: Perspectives from Four Second Language Learners of English in Hong Kong.” Linguistics and Education261: 31–39. 10.1016/j.linged.2014.01.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.linged.2014.01.010 [Google Scholar]
  64. Sweet, Henry
    1877A Handbook of Phonetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  65. 1890A Primer of Spoken English. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. 1908The Sounds of English, an Introduction to Phonetics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  67. Tahta, Sonia, Margaret Wood, and Kate Loewenthal
    1981 “Foreign Accents: Factors Relating to Transfer of Accent from the First Language to a Second Language.” Language and Speech24 (3): 265–272. 10.1177/002383098102400306
    https://doi.org/10.1177/002383098102400306 [Google Scholar]
  68. Thir, Veronika
    2020 “International Intelligibility Revisited: L2 Realizations of NURSE and TRAP and Functional Load.” Journal of Second Language Pronunciation6 (3): 458–482. 10.1075/jslp.20012.thi
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jslp.20012.thi [Google Scholar]
  69. Thompson, Geoff
    1996 “Some Misconceptions about Communicative Language Teaching.” ELT Journal50 (1): 9–15. 10.1093/elt/50.1.9
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/50.1.9 [Google Scholar]
  70. Tsang, Art
    2022 “The Relationships between EFL Learners’ Anxiety in Oral Presentations, Self-perceived Pronunciation, and Speaking Proficiency.” Language Teaching Research, Online First: June 16, 2022, 1–21. 10.1177/13621688221102522
    https://doi.org/10.1177/13621688221102522 [Google Scholar]
  71. Valdman, Albert
    1964A Drillbook of French Pronunciation. New York: Harper and Row.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. 1970 “Toward a Better Implementation of the Audio-lingual Approach.” The Modern Language Journal54 (5): 309–319.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. 1989 “The Problem of the Target Model in Proficiency-oriented Foreign Language Instruction.” Applied Language Learning1 (1): 33–51.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Wright, Sue
    2016 “French: The Rise and Fall of a Prestige Lingua Franca.” InLanguage Policy and Language Planning: From Nationalism to Globalisation, ed. bySue Wright, 134–154. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1007/978‑1‑137‑57647‑7_6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-57647-7_6 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): English; French; language learning; native speaker norm; pronunciation
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error