Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
The communicative language approach (CLA) dominates pedagogical practice in second language acquisition classrooms in the US. However, this approach does not emphasize independent pronunciation instruction, leaving learners to improve pronunciation on their own. This study explored the perspectives of English language learners (ELLs) being instructed via the CLA regarding the effectiveness of the CLA in providing intelligible pronunciation skills. The intelligibility principle of language served as the theoretical foundation underlying this study guided by research questions addressing how well the CLA met ELLs' pronunciation intelligibility needs and their perspectives on receiving independent pronunciation instruction to meet these needs. Using qualitative case study methods, the research questions were addressed through an analysis of interviews of 10 community college ELL adult volunteers who received instruction using the CLA as current or former students in the intensive English program, had linguistic skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced, and were graduates of U.S. schools. A typological analysis model was followed where the data were organized by themes, patterns, and identified relationships. Participants reported wanting to improve their pronunciation and that their pronunciation had improved with the CLA instructional strategies. Although all participants desired to receive some independent instruction in pronunciation, their preferred instructional modes differed. It is recommended that ELLs' perspectives be heard and that English as a Second Language educators instruct with the CLA while also providing explicit pronunciation instruction. The results of this study indicating student satisfaction with the CLA may elicit positive social change within the ELL community by providing a voice to ELLs.