Learners’ perceptions toward pronunciation instruction in three circles of world englishes

Okim Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


From the perspective of World Englishes (i.e., varieties of English in different regions of the world), mutual intelligibility is a key issue for both listeners and speakers. Nevertheless, learners often have an idealized notion of native-speaker spoken norms and may be in favor of more prestigious inner circle models than others. This study examined students’ (N = 617) perceptions and expectations of their pronunciation and their attitudes toward instructors’ accent varieties in the three circles of World Englishes collected from six countries in the inner circle (the United States and New Zealand), the outer circle (South Africa and Pakistan), and the expanding circle (Japan and South Korea). The results show that students in the inner circle and expanding circle countries, compared to those in the outer circle, were more dissatisfied with their current curriculum of learning pronunciation due to confusion of various models, teachers’ mono-model treatment of accent variation, and lack of effort of incorporating the role of English as an international language. These findings suggest that the concept of World Englishes should be better integrated into ESL/EFL classroom teachings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-80
Number of pages22
JournalTESOL Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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