Banner Portal
Did I say ‘pup’ or ‘pub’?


Phonological self-awareness
L2 pronunciation
Pronunciation instruction

How to Cite

Souza HK de, Lintunen P. Did I say ‘pup’ or ‘pub’? An analysis of foreign language learners’ phonological self-awareness. J. of Speech Sci. [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 9 [cited 2024 Feb. 24];12(00):e023003. Available from:


Language users possess knowledge about the second language (L2) phonological system and their own L2 pronunciation, known as phonological awareness and phonological self-awareness, respectively. Higher awareness about the L2 phonology has been shown to be beneficial for L2 pronunciation accuracy (e.g. Kennedy & Trofimovich, 2010), making it relevant to know which features L2 learners are able to notice and how the L2 phonology can be brought into the learners’ attention better. The aim of the paper is to examine language learners’ awareness about their own pronunciation by investigating which L2 segmental features are noticed, how one’s intelligibility is perceived and how participants view their phonological self-awareness abilities. 33 L1 Finnish learners of English enrolled in an English phonetics and phonology course recorded a speech sample and later listened to it by noting down the perceived pronunciation deviations on selected features. The participants also answered a phonological self-awareness questionnaire. The results indicate that the learners noticed segmental deviations in their productions, mainly in relation to consonantal voicing and vowel duration. The participants also perceived themselves as highly intelligible and reported it to be easy to notice the gap in their pronunciation, to identify pronunciation deviations in other speakers’ speech and to identify Finnish-accented English. Nevertheless, the overall verbalization of noticing was scarce and the participants manifested difficulties in explaining the noticed phenomena. The discussion relates the phonological self-awareness findings to pedagogical applications.


Bohn, O.‐S. Cross language speech perception in adults: First language transfer doesn’t tell it all. In W. Strange, editor. Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience: Issues in Cross‐language research. Timonium, MD: York Press; 1995. p.279‐304.

Bongaerts, T., van Summeren, C., Planken, B., Schils, E. Age and ultimate attainment in the pronunciation of a foreign language. Studies in second language acquisition. 1997. 447-465.

Celce-Murcia, M., Brinton D. M, Goodwin, J. M., Griner, B. Teaching Pronunciation: A Reference for Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. New York, NY, Cambridge University Press; 2010.

Dragojevic, M., Goatley-Soan, S. Americans’ attitudes toward foreign accents: Evaluative hierarchies and underlying processes. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 2022. 43(2), 167–181.

Ellis, N. C. At the interface: Dynamic interactions of explicit and implicit language knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 2005. 27, 305-352.

Flege, J. E. Factors affecting degree of perceived foreign accent in English sentences. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 1988. 84(1), 70-79.

Flege, J. E. Chinese subjects’ perception of the word‐final English/t/–/d/contrast: Performance before and after training. JASA. 1989. 86(5), 1684-1697.

Inceoglu, S. Exploring the relationship between explicit instruction, pronunciation awareness, and the development of L2 French connected speech processes. Language awareness. 2021. 30(4), 336-354.

Ioup, G., Boustagui, E., El Tigi, M., Moselle, M. Reexamining the critical period hypothesis: A case study of successful adult SLA in a naturalistic environment. Studies in second language acquisition. 1994. 16(1), 73-98.

Jenkins, J. A sociolinguistically based, empirically researched pronunciation syllabus for English as an international language. Applied linguistics. 2002. 23(1), 83-103.

Kennedy, S., Blanchet, J., Trofimovich, P. Learner pronunciation, awareness, and instruction in French as a second language. Foreign Language Annals. 2014. 47(1), 79-96.

Kennedy, S., Trofimovich, P. Language awareness and second language pronunciation: A classroom study. Language Awareness. 2010. 19(3), 171–185.

Kivistö de Souza, H. Phonological awareness and pronunciation in a second language. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain; 2015.

Kivistö de Souza, H. Consciência fonológica In: Investigando os sons de línguas não nativas: Uma introdução.1 ed.: Editora da Abralin, 2021, v.1, p. 153-174.

Kivistö de Souza, H., & Lintunen, P. “Thinking about your pronunciation”: Examining phonological self-awareness with a novel task. In Henderson, A., Kirkova-Naskova, A. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on English Pronunciation: Issues and Practices, 2023. pp. 138-148.

Kivistö de Souza, H., & Lintunen, P. Focus on phonetic form: Examining noticing the gap in L2 pronunciation instruction. Manuscript in preparation.

Krashen, S. Principle and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press; 1982.

Leech, G., Rayson, P., Wilson, A. Word frequencies in written and spoken English: based on the British National Corpus. Longman, London; 2001. ISBN 0582-32007-0

Lemhöfer, K., Broersma, M. Introducing LexTALE: A quick and valid lexical testcfor advanced learners of English. Behavior Research Methods. 2012. 44, 325–343.

Levis, J. Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL Quarterly. 2005. 39 (3), 369–377.

Lintunen, P. Pronunciation and Phonemic Transcription: a Study of Advanced Finnish Learners of English. Turku: University of Turku; 2004.

Major, R. C. English voiceless stop production by speakers of Brazilian Portuguese. Journal of Phonetics. 1987. 15(2), 197-202.

Morris-Wilson, I. English Segmental Phonetics for Finns. Oulu: Oulu University Press; 2004.

Munro, M. J., Derwing, T. M. Foreign accent, comprehensibility and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning. 1995a. 45, 73–97. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1995.tb00963.x

Munro, M. J., Derwing, T. M. Processing Time, Accent, and Comprehensibility in the Perception of Native and Foreign-Accented Speech. Language and Speech. 1995b. 38(3), 289–306.

Munro, M., Flege, J., Mackay, I. The effects of age of second language learning on the production of English vowels. Applied Psycholinguistics. 1996. 17(3), 313-334. doi:10.1017/S0142716400007967

Paananen, M. Difficulties in English obstruents experienced by Finnish school children. In J. Järvikivi, J. Heikkinen, editors. Out Loud: Papers from the 19th meeting of Finnish phoneticians. Joensuu: University of Joensuu; 1999. p. 86–100.

Peltola, M. S., Kujala, T., Tuomainen, J., Ek, M., Aaltonen, O., Näätänen, R. Native and foreign vowel discrimination as indexed by the mismatch negativity (MMN) response. Neuroscience letters. 2003. 352(1), 25-28.

Piske, T. Phonetic awareness, phonetic sensitivity and the second language learner. In J. Cenoz, N. H. Hornberger, editors. Encyclopedia of language and education Vol. 6: Knowledge about language New York: Springer Science; 2008. p. 155-166.

Robinson, P. Attention and memory during SLA. In C. Doughty, M. Long, editors. The handbook of second language acquisition New York: Blackwell; 2003. p. 631-678.

Rosa, E., O’Neill, M. Explicitness, intake, and the issue of awareness. Studies in Second Language Acquisition. 1999. 21, 511-556.

Saito, K. What characterizes comprehensible and native-like pronunciation among English-as-a-second-language speakers? Meta-analyses of phonological, rater, and instructional factors. TESOL Quarterly. 2021. 53(3), 866–900.

Schmidt, R. Attention, awareness, and individual differences in language learning. In W. M. Chan, S. Chi, K. N. Cin, J. Istanto, M. Nagami, J. W. Sew, T. Suthiwan, I. Walker, editors. Proceedings of CLaSIC 2010, Singapore, December 2-4 Singapore: National University of Singapore, Centre for Language Studies; 2010. p. 721-737.

Schmidt, R. W. The role of consciousness in second language learning. Applied linguistics. 1990. 11(2), 129-158.

Schmidt, R., Frota, S. Developing basic conversational ability in a second language: A case study of an adult learner. In R. Day, editor. Talking to learn: Conversation in second language acquisition. Rowley, MA: Newbury House; 1986. p. 237-369.

Silveira, R., Zimmer, M., Alves, U. Pronunciation Instruction for Brazilians: Student Book. New Castle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing; 2009.

Suomi, K. Voicing in English and Finnish Stops: a typological comparison with an interlanguage study of the two languages in contact. Turku: University of Turku; 1980.

Taavitsainen, I., Pahta, P. English in Finland: Globalisation, language awareness and questions of identity. English Today. 2003. 19(4), 3-15.

Teló, C., Trofimovich, P., O’Brien, M. Disentangling professional competence and foreign accent. Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. 2022. Published online 29 September 2022.

Tergujeff, E. Intelligibility and the gravity of segmental deviations in L1 Finnish speakers’ L2 English. In T. Seppälä, S. Lesonen, P. Iikkanen, S. D’hondt, editors. Language, Change and Society. Jyväskylä: AFinLA; 2022. p. 307–324

VanPatten, B. Input processing and grammar instruction in second language acquisition. Norwood: Ablex Publishing; 1996.

White, J., Ranta, L. Examining the interface between metalinguistic task performance and oral production in a second language. Language Awareness. 2002. 11, 259-290.

Wiik, K. Finnish and English vowels. Turku: University of Turku; 1965.

Wrembel, M. Metaphonological awareness in multilinguals: A case of L3 Polish. Language Awareness. 2015. 24(1), 60-83.

Ylinen S, Uther M, Latvala A, Vepsäläinen S, Iverson P, Akahane-Yamada R, Näätänen R. Training the brain to weight speech cues differently: a study of Finnish second-language users of English. J Cogn Neurosci. 2010 Jun;22(6):1319-32. doi: 10.1162/jocn.2009.21272. PMID: 19445609.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Hanna Kivistö de Souza, Pekka Lintunen


Download data is not yet available.