Using Venn Diagram and Sensory Integration in Chinese EFL Learners’ Pronunciation Drill

Renshuang Song


Foreign language learners tend to mispronounce sounds in the target language by subconsciously searching and substituting with “similar corresponding sounds” in their native dialects. Correction of EFL pronunciation is thus difficult for both instructors and learners. Yet Critical Period Hypothesis is being increasingly misused by Chinese teachers and researchers as an excuse for not paying attention to learners’ pronunciation habits. To address this problem with an effective learning strategy, the paper proposes a two-step approach, i.e., Step 1, the use of Venn diagram as visual organizer by mapping the phones of native language and target language into the sets in a clear and logical manner; and Step 2, the use of sensory integration pronunciation exercise to realize self-monitored oral-motors of the learners. An intensive five-minute instruction with the aid of Venn diagram and sensory integration pronunciation exercise of diphthongs is given to Chinese learners to elicit differences in diphthongs between target language and native language. Results of phonetic data analyses show that learners made significant improvements in accuracy after the two-step intensive training. Language instructors should therefore be aware of the effects of a) Venn diagram visual aid as a prototype to compare and differentiate the seemingly similar “corresponding sounds” against native language interference, and b) sensory integration in pronunciation training as a positive habit-forming practice.


 DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2016-23

Cite as: Song, R. (2016) Using Venn Diagram and Sensory Integration in Chinese EFL Learners’ Pronunciation Drill. Proc. ISAPh 2016 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics, 117-121, DOI: 10.21437/ISAPh.2016-23.


@inproceedings{Song2016,
  author={Renshuang Song},
  title={Using Venn Diagram and Sensory Integration in Chinese EFL Learners’ Pronunciation Drill},
  year=2016,
  booktitle={Proc. ISAPh 2016 International Symposium on Applied Phonetics},
  pages={117--121},
  doi={10.21437/ISAPh.2016-23},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/ISAPh.2016-23}
}