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Coaching Native Russian Speakers in Pronunciation: English for Professional Purposes

by Bernadette M. López-Fitzsimmons | 10 Oct 2017
Resource Description: This is an analysis of a native Russian speaker's audio recording who has minor pronunciation issues.  The learner wishes to improve her pronunciation for professional purposes. 
The analysis includes an evaluation of the learner's speaking using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  There are suggestions offered on how the learner can improve her pronunciation in order to develop more confidence in public speaking situations.
Audience: Adult, Secondary, Teacher Training, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced
Teaching Tip:

The learner experiences acculturation stress and anxiety which may interfere with her English language speaking skills at times.  There are a few strategies that will help her pronunciation.

1.      Since she is already a yoga and meditation practitioner and teacher, Kadriya can adapt the appropriate breathing exercises to decrease anxiety and stress (Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Goodwin, 2016, p. 335-336).

2.      The learner can practice fun exercisessp that she develops listening discrimination (Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Goodwin, 2016, p. 257-260) which will allow her to recognize sounds heard and spoken in English, but not in Russian.  With practice, the learner will self-monitor pronunciation issues, minimizing (or eliminating) difficult pronunciation issues.

3.      The learner needs to build an awareness ( Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Goodwin, 2016, p. 54-55) of her issues in the American English sound system.  Understanding the sounds of segmentals (phonemes), suprasegmentals [stress, pitch, tone, volume (loud or low voice), duration, etc.], place of articulation, manner of articulation, and voicing will help the learner develop a comfortable, easy flow to her speaking so that it is mutually intelligible all the time.   This will also decrease stress and anxiety in her personal and professional communication as well as build self-esteem.


Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton, D. M., Goodwin, J. M., & Griner, B. (2010). Teaching Pronunciation Paperback with Audio CDs (2): (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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Adapted from The ESL commando: Top secret tips for English success. Retrieved on May 10, 2017, from:

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TESOL Interest Section: Adult Education, English for Specific Purposes, Higher Education