English Education Department of Postgraduate
Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta
This paper firstly stresses that the importance of the spoken form of the language and for that reason foreign language learners should have correct and accurate pronunciation. It summarizes the background of pronunciation teaching, emphasizes the need for incorporating pronunciation into foreign language classes owing to regarding pronunciation as a key to gaining full communicative competence. Most of the people learning a foreign language encounter some problems of pronunciation of the new language, owing to some contributory factors. This paper consists of the presentation of the factors affecting the pronunciation of EFL learners in Indonesia in language learning and teaching process and also it suggests some necessary techniques for the solution of these factors. Some suggestions are also given for how these techniques should be applied for.
Key words: foreign language, accurate pronunciation, EFL, higher education A. Introduction
One of the general objectives in the foreign language teaching, maybe the most important one, is to teach the learners to speak the target language accurately and intelligibly since to learn a language also means to produce the sounds, utterances, and the words properly and correctly rather than being able to communicate with the people in the target language community. To reach this goal, speaking activities should be done at every stage of the foreign language teaching process. It must be borne in mind that listening and speaking go hand-in-hand in foreign language teaching because speech is very important medium through which communication is achieved. That’s to say, language is primarily speech and it is more basic to language than the written form (Larsen-Freeman, 2000: 44). According to Knowles (1987: 1) written language has the advantage that it is permanent so that it can be studied conveniently and at leisure, but spoken language is more ‘elusive’. In other words, written language looks like an imperfect version of the spoken language. As individuals, we all learn to speak before we learn to read and write; that is to say, people learn the language by hearing the sounds spoken in their environment. Unlimited numbers of sounds, especially speech sounds, in the language help the learner to understand and to produce the language. In addition, in the world there are still languages which have never been written down and also societies have had speech before written forms of their languages. Needless to say, human talk is the oldest form all of the societies. It should be noted here that language learners always encounter some difficulties and problems while learning a foreign language. One of the most significant difficulties seen in this process happens to be in the pronunciation of the foreign language vocabulary. So, foreign language learners have lots of problems with pronunciation because of some factors such as native language factor (mother tongue interference), age, environment, personality, etc. affect their motivation in learning. Rivers (1986: 125) urges that all persons had experience when listening to a foreigners’ speaking language, of having great difficulty in understanding what they are trying to say, not because of their lack of knowledge of 1
vocabulary and language structure, but because the sounds they produce seemed strange and the voice rose and fell in unexpected places. This sentence emphasizes a well-known fact that most of the people learning a foreign language encounter some problems of pronunciation of the new language, owing to some contributory factors. Therefore, they fail in oral communication although they are sufficient enough in other skills of the language. B. Factors Affecting the Pronunciation of EFL Learners
1. The Native...