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Volume 4 Number 1, Spring 2007, Pages 1-200   

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intelligible Pronunciation: Focus on the Proficient L2 Speaker

    Joanne Rajadurai

The field of pronunciation has never been short of controversies which are often expressed in various ways in the curriculum. in many ESL countries, if pronunciation is explicitly taught, it is usually done with a rigid adherence to native norms, despite professions to the contrary. This paper argues that with the growth of English as a local, regional and global lingua franca in countries like Malaysia, traditional pronunciation models need to be critically re-examined, and a shift from the native speaker to the highly competent L2 speaker of English be considered. Reporting on a study undertaken in Malaysia, the paper discusses the ways in which proficient speakers of English modify their pronunciation patterns to attain greater intelligibility. in this way, the article explores new ways of investigating intelligibility and pronunciation needs, and concludes by highlighting the significance of the findings with respect to conceptual, empirical and pedagogical issues.