Raising EFL learners’ awareness of suprasegmental features as an aid to understanding implicatures
This study investigated the effects of raising EFL learners’ awareness of suprasegmental features as an aid to understanding implicatures. This quantitative method study was conducted with thirty-six EFL learners studying at Akdeniz University, School of Foreign Languages. Ten explicit sugrasegmental treatment sessions were implemented over a course of ten weeks. The data were collected through three different instruments: a background and attitudes questionnaire, implicature recognition pre-test and post-test and evaluation forms at the end of each treatment session. The findings obtained through the analysis of the data revealed that receiving explicit training on suprasegmetal features had a statistically significant effect on learners’ recognition of implicatures in aural messages. On the other hand, data obtained from the evaluation forms suggest that the learners had positive attitudes towards the use of suprasegmental features to understand and interpret implicatures. Most of the learners found the treatment sessions useful in terms of improving their pronunciation perception and using pronunciation to understand discourse. Additionally, the findings obtained from the open-ended question in the evaluation forms showed that the treatment sessions were also found effective in terms of improving the learners’ perceptions of their speaking skills, as well as helping them to develop confidence about their English pronunciation. Finally, the results suggest that the learners strongly support the implementation of regular pronunciation training into the school curriculum as a way of increasing their pronunciation and discourse competence. Considering these results, this study provided further directions in the use of pronunciation to foster the recognition of implied meanings in EFL context.