Spring 2023


Capstone Project

Degree Name



Julia Reimer and Maggie Struck

Content Expert

Heather Huckstadt-Gonzalez and Diane Powers


The guiding question for this project was: What are some effective strategies for integrating pronunciation instruction in an adult ESL course with the focus being on intelligibility and comprehensibility? This question is guided by personal and professional experiences that are shared in the first chapter. The literature review examines the stigma of accented speech of non-native speakers and the factors that influence their pronunciation production. The intelligibility approach to pronunciation instruction has been proven to be a more realistic and ethical approach as compared to the nativeness principle. The research studied showed that adult ESL teachers often feel ill equipped to teach pronunciation in their classroom mostly because of a lack of explicit training. As a result of the literature reviewed, a professional development workshop that focuses on areas of pronunciation such as metaphonological awareness, suprasegmentals, the role of listening and assessment was created for adult ESL instructors. The workshop equips teachers with knowledge and practical activities to be integrated into their classrooms. In each of these areas, the importance of teaching with a focus on intelligibility over accent reductions is emphasized. A semester-long professional learning community was added to this project as a way to enhance the collaboration and continuation of learning among colleagues. A monthly guide with case studies and discussion questions is provided for each group to use, along with a shared Google document that encourages collaboration and unification of resources. The outcome of this project is to provide adult ESL instructors with the knowledge and resources needed for quality pronunciation instruction while increasing their confidence and preparedness for supporting their students in speaking and listening skills more effectively.

Project Type

Professional Development


Adult Education, ESL/ ELLs, Staff Development, Teachers/ Teaching








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