Fall 12-13-2016



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Bonnie Swierzbin

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Suzanne McCurdy

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Heather Turngren


The research question addressed in this project was how can professional development (PD) materials be developed to educate adult education (AE) English as a second language (ESL) teachers about English rhythm and to provide effective strategies to incorporate rhythm throughout content lessons? The motivating factor for this capstone was an observation of teachers’ insecurities regarding pronunciation pedagogy of suprasegmental features, specifically rhythm, a lack of focus on rhythm in ESL classrooms, and a need for PD surrounding teaching pronunciation. The research defines English rhythm, the way it differs from the rhythm of other languages, and its affect on intelligibility. Furthermore, the research explores the amount of pronunciation teaching that is occurring in ESL classrooms and which barriers keep teachers from teaching pronunciation effectively. The author describes eleven strategies deemed effective for sustained rhythm practice that can easily be incorporated within existing content lessons guided by the communicative framework for incorporating pronunciation into ESL curriculum. Finally, the author develops PD materials to be administered at a PD session in the future in order to educate AE ESL teachers about English rhythm and how to apply six effective strategies to teach rhythm to existing content lessons.

Research Methodology

Professional Development, Pronunciation Pedagogy


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs, Pronunciation, Professional Development


Teaching English Rhythm supplemental slides available upon request to the Hamline Community, contact the Digital Commons@Hamline administrator.

Included in

Education Commons