Undoubtedly, pronunciation is a significant factor in communication and it can be a source of unintelligibility between interlocutors. Several materials can contribute to the improvement of pronunciation skill one of which seems to be audiobooks. Therefore, the present study aimed at investigating the influence of using audiobooks on the improvement of pronunciation ability of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 90 elementary, intermediate, and upper-intermediate students from three English language institutes were selected in Shiraz, Iran. In order to examine the effect of using audiobooks on students’ sound recognition and sound production, two tests were administered to the students as pretest and posttest. To find out whether audiobooks had any effect on the pronunciation ability of learners, the mean and the standard deviation of the three groups of learners were compared. Data analyses showed that the sound recognition ability of intermediate learners improved significantly in comparison with the other two groups. Also, students at upper-intermediate level had the highest gain in pronunciation production in comparison with the other two groups of learners. However, there was no statistically significant difference among the three groups of learners with regard to their production ability of English phonemes. The study also found that females outperformed their male counterparts regarding pronunciation production tests after receiving treatment. However, males performed better than females in pronunciation recognition tests after receiving treatment. The implications are provided at the end of this study.
Audiobook, sound recognition, sound production, pronunciation skill, gender