Speech perception (listening discrimination) plays an important role in the acquisition of pronunciation. Research suggests that training in perception may help improve production of certain sounds and intonation patterns. Further, speech perception plays an important role in self-monitoring, which is important in successful pronunciation learning. Finally, it is likely that the problems English learners experience in speech perception will correspond to many of those same learners’ problem areas in pronunciation.
In other words, the difficulties learners’ experience in hearing the differences in English sounds provide good clues to the difficulties those learners have in English pronunciation.
The Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test is a diagnostic test or tool designed to help teachers and learners of English discover specific problem areas in their perception of spoken English. It is free and available online. It focuses on five major aspects of spoken English:
- Word stress
- Intonation (sentence-final)
- Sentence stress
These five areas and the items within them closely correspond to many of the sections of Pronunciation Matters.
After you have taken the POSE test, look at the results for each section. See where you have difficulties in speech perception and determine which of the corresponding Pronunciation Matters units you should work on.