Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


School of Education


International and Multicultural Education (IME)

First Advisor

Dr. Luz Navarrette García

Second Advisor

Dr. Sedique Popal


Being able to speak English with comprehensible pronunciation is key to communicative competency, yet pronunciation is one of the most difficult parts of learning English as a second language. English Language Learners (ELLs) are not receiving enough effective pronunciation instruction to correct their fossilized pronunciation errors. Currently, ESL teachers often lack effective tools and training in how to teach pronunciation. The purpose of this project is to give ESL teachers specific tools to help de-fossilize their ELLs persistent pronunciation errors. This literature review discusses five different linguistic theories that explore the journey and the obstacles (fossilization) in second language phonological acquisition: the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis, the Noticing Hypothesis, the interlanguage system, the Selective Fossilization Hypothesis and the Markedness Differential Hypothesis. This paper includes a detailed teachers handbook that incorporates many key elements from the linguistic theories mentioned. In addition, this handbook illustrates how to use contextualized authentic material to de-fossilize common ELL pronunciation errors. Teaching students how to defossilize their English pronunciation errors requires the right tools, proper teacher training, and consistent practice in and outside of the classroom. At the end of this paper a number of recommendations are suggested on how to reinforce the ELL’s pronunciation progress made in the classroom.