Study Circle Guide for Pronunciation Instruction in the ESL Classroom

This study circle is a professional learning activity for adult ESL teachers who are interested in integrating effective pronunciation instruction into their regular teaching practice.

Andrea Echelberger
Suzanne McCurdy
Patsy Egan
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages

This resource describes a study circle on pronunciation instruction in the ESL classroom that consists of 3 meetings of 3 hours each over the course of 6 to 8 weeks. The study circle is a professional learning activity for adult ESL teachers who are interested in integrating effective pronunciation instruction into their regular teaching practice. Circle participants analyze the pronunciation needs of learners with diverse cultural backgrounds and English ability levels, explore relevant research and its implications for targeted pronunciation instruction, and actively engage in pronunciation instruction within their own teaching practices. The study circle participants engage in both at-home reading and reflective classroom tasks that inform and deepen discussions and allow for maximum professional growth.

Clear objectives are identified for each meeting. The overall objectives for the study circle are that participants will:

  1. Articulate connections between relevant research and effective classroom practices pertaining to pronunciation instruction.
  2. Analyze speech samples from current learner populations and identify salient issues; explore techniques and practices for addressing specific pronunciation concerns.
  3. Identify and share useful resources such as classroom activities, research, online resources, and classroom practices that can enhance teaching and learning.
  4. Articulate rationale for integrating systematic and structured pronunciation instruction in order to enhance life skills or work skills-based curriculum for adult ESL classes.
  5. Prepare to implement/integrate pronunciation techniques and strategies into your adult ESL classroom through exploration of various resources, discussions, and reflection of teaching practices.
What the experts say

Study circles can be practical, collegial, and useful professional development activities for adult ESL practitioners. Integrating pronunciation techniques and activities into classroom practice is an important topic — especially because being understood by others is important for many adults learning English. This is a clear and well-organized plan for a brief series of meetings and application activities to develop instructor knowledge of effective instructional approaches. The readings and video resources are well chosen and will work best if the facilitator has prior knowledge about teaching pronunciation.

This facilitator's guide reflects best practices in teacher professional development and current research on the teaching of English pronunciation. It combines a thorough but manageable list of resource texts with activities (including video review) that encourage study circle participants to understand learners' pronunciation challenges and identify effective ways of addressing them. It demonstrates feasible ways of incorporating direct pronunciation instruction in a larger instructional context. It could be enhanced with additional content or extended as a train-the-trainers product.


Resource Notice

This site includes links to information created by other public and private organizations. These links are provided for the user’s convenience. The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this non-ED information. The inclusion of these links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse views expressed, or products or services offered, on these non-ED sites.

Please note that privacy policies on non-ED sites may differ from ED’s privacy policy. When you visit, no personal information is collected unless you choose to provide that information to us. We do not give, share, sell, or transfer any personal information to a third party. We recommend that you read the privacy policy of non-ED websites that you visit. We invite you to read our privacy policy.