Helping Cantonese ESL Learners Overcome Their Difficulties in the Production and Perception of English Speech Sounds

by Alice Y.W. Chan
Department of English
City University of Hong Kong

Abstract
Cantonese ESL learners’ speech production and speech perception abilities have great impact on their learning of English pronunciation. This article attempts to give a brief summary of documented speech production and perception difficulties encountered by Cantonese ESL learners in Hong Kong and provide some principles which underlie effective pronunciation teaching and learning. It is suggested that observable articulatory features should be highlighted, subtle differences between confusable sound pairs should be focused on, and mother-tongue interference should be tackled. It is also argued that perceptual training is one inevitable component of an L2 pronunciation program going hand in hand with production training.


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