Does Imitation Have A Place in Learning Pronunciation?

Listen in as Dr. Piers Messum explains how by using imitation as a key to learning pronunciation we have been misled and then find out the keys we can use to learn pronunciation

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Piers Messum, who teaches in London and did his dissertation a few years ago on the role of imitation in learning to pronounce. The interview helps to explain why the current approach to the teaching of pronunciation has yielded such poor results for most learners. If you have an interest in improving your pronunciation or understanding why you have struggled with it in the past, listen in!

Piers MessumWhile this interview below concentrates on the sound quality (phonemic) aspect of pronunciation, a second one, which we will soon do, will look at learning things like stress, timing and melody.

In this 20 minute interview you will gain real insights as to how we learn pronunciation and what we need to do and not do to improve our outcomes.




In the interview Piers refers to a practical reference book that can help you with your pronunciation. Its full title is: A Practical Introduction to Phonetics, by J. C. Catford. This book is a very thorough look at pronunciation, including unique practical exercises  whereby learners can explore and hence learn to recognise what is needed to modify the sounds they make. It is a very comprehensive book that would suit language learners committed to improving their pronunciation. It is also an excellent reference for language teachers.