Ross Aaron Nicholas & Ingrid Mora-Plaza

Pronunciation-focused strategies to improve L2 listening comprehension

Listening comprehension is often regarded as a big challenge for L2 learners and research reveals that, despite being tested, it is not usually trained in the EFL classroom. Providing empirical information, this workshop will demonstrate how focusing on connected speech during listening comprehension activities may enhance L2 listening skills, and will display sample sets of activities suitable for young-to-teen learners.



i. To invite the audience to share views and experiences on L2 listening comprehension training

ii. To raise awareness of how aspects of connected speech may contribute to developing listening comprehension

iii. To give participants the opportunity to work with our listening materials

iv. To share results from our experimental study and encourage action research.


i. Introduction

State the educational/professional background of speakers and motivation for presenting at TESOL 2021.

ii. Sharing experience

a. Audience will take part in polls on

b. Participants will share experience and common challenges L2 learners come across whilst developing listening skills (Zoom breakout rooms). Comments will be clustered on

c. L2 research studies on listening difficulties (Reed & Michaud, 2011) and EFL trends on listening instruction (Kissling, 2018; Brunfaut & Rukthong, 2019) will be reviewed and linked to the interest of this workshop.

iii. Connected speech

The previous discussion will act as a spring board for connected speech and how it interferes in L2 listening comprehension development. Audio files will be used as examples of the target features which we included in our study.

iv. Empirical study

a. Study motivation

b. Aims/research questions

c. Participants

d. Research design

e. Materials

v. Audience participation

Participants will be guided through lesson procedures identical to the way L2 learners did during our study. They will have an opportunity to experience some teaching tools in action and take away a useful lesson procedure that may be easily adaptable for any age or level.

a. Introduce concatenation

b. Gap fill activity with concatenation examples omitted to focus on form

c. Feedback

d. Illustration of concatenation characteristics via PowerPoint

e. Repeat audio focusing on concatenation answers to consolidate understanding

f. Repeat same procedure for strong/weak forms

vi. Study results & discussion

vii. Conclusions


Ross Aaron Nicholas is a CELTA trained teacher and has been teaching EFL for more than 10 years. He is the owner of the Cambridge preparation centre The Nicholas Ross Academy in Murcia and has guided learners through the acquisition of English from A1 to C2 CEFR levels. He is interested in testing and applying teaching methodologies in the classroom.


Ingrid Mora-Plaza is a PhD candidate and lecturer in English Phonetics and Phonology at the University of Barcelona. She is member of the Grup de Recerca en Adquisició de Llengües (GRAL) and L2 Speech Research groups and has been teaching EFL for 7 years. She is mainly interested in task-based language teaching (TBLT) and L2 pronunciation acquisition and instruction.

Nicholas & Mora-Plaza TESOL 2021.pdf