Pronunciation Teaching: Whose Ethical Domain Is It Anyways?

  • Ron I. Thomson (Brock University)
  • Jennifer A. Foote (University of Alberta)


Several recent articles and book chapters have raised ethical concerns about practices within the field of second language (L2) pronunciation teaching. In this paper, we propose a preliminary set of ethical guidelines for teaching L2 pronunciation, based on a review of related research, and from relevant ethics and standards documents developed by professional associations for North American English Language Teachers (ELTs) (e.g., TESOL and TESL Canada) and Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) (e.g., ASHA and SAC). We then apply these ethical guidelines to archived data from a survey of 60 ELTs, and 71 SLPs, who offer what they describe as pronunciation instruction or accent modification/accent reduction services. The survey examined instructor qualifications, and teacher knowledge about L2 pronunciation and its teaching. Mixed results indicate that while some ELTs and SLPs appear to adhere to reasonably defined ethical guidelines and standards, many do not. We conclude with recommendations for positive change in this area.

How to Cite:

Thomson, R. I. & Foote, J. A., (2018) “Pronunciation Teaching: Whose Ethical Domain Is It Anyways?”, Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Proceedings 10(1).

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Published on
01 Jan 2019