Capstone/Dissertation Title

To What Extend Does Dramatic Storytelling Have On Adult ESL Learners’ Ability To Recognize And Use Emphatic Stress In English?


Spring 4-16-2015



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Betsy Parish

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Suzanne McCurdy,

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Masooma Naqvi


Pronunciation is an important, but sometimes ignored, area of second language teaching. The purpose of this study is to look at dramatic storytelling as a method for teaching adult ESL learners how to use and recognize emphatic stress in English. Eighteen adult ESL learners from a variety of language backgrounds participated in this six-week action research-based study. Participants were required to take listening tests and deliver storytelling performances in order to track their progress in using and recognizing emphatic stress. Students were also asked to take a pre and post study survey in order for the instructor to gain an understanding of the learners’ attitudes towards pronunciation practice, accents, and storytelling. Results from the study concluded that dramatic storytelling did improve adult ESL students’ use and awareness of emphatic stress.


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs, Pronunciation

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