Why ESL Programs Don’t Teach Pronunciation or Accent Reduction

ESL programs in the United States are often criticized for not focusing enough on pronunciation.  In fact, they often gloss over the issue or ignore it completely.  ESL teachers either believe students can learn pronunciation on their own or realize that they aren’t trained in accent reduction.  ESL teachers are often overwhelmed by large classes and students that need extra attention.  This creates an almost is good enough” attitude where “getting by” is okay.

Accent training requires one-on-one attention and is time-consuming for teachers that are already given a difficult task, teaching English.  Aside from one-on-one attention that’s needed for accent reduction – ESL teachers often lack the required training, skills, and knowledge to being helping students improve their accents.  It’s not difficult to understand why pronunciation is one of the subject area receiving the least amount of attention in ESL programs.