Senior lecturer (Above the Bar)
Phone: +64 9 921 9999 ext 6048
Graeme completed his Masters thesis investigating how ESOL students fared once they left AUT with a view to better meeting student' needs in the future. This led to a particular interest in the teaching of pronunciation and the completion of a PhD in this area. Using a cognitive phonology framework he found that socially constructed metalanguage and critical listening were two key variables in successful learning.
Since then he has continued to undertake research to further test these findings, focusing on the teaching of syllable codas, word stress and sentence stress. He has also investigated the teaching of pragmatics and intends to explore how one can teach prosody in relation to pragmatics.
His research in pronunciation learning and teaching is internationally recognised and often cited for the significant contribution it has made to the field. This has led to unsolicited invitations to write book chapters and articles as well as to present a keynote speech at a recent pronunciation symposium in Canberra.
Having completed a significant amount of research into what makes pronunciation teaching effective Dr Graeme Couper has now turned his attention to teachers’ beliefs, attitudes and practices (teacher cognition) regarding pronunciation teaching. He believes that in order for researchers to undertake research which will have an impact on classroom practice they must first understand the current state of teacher cognition.
He is looking at this in two different contexts: English language teachers in Uruguay and in New Zealand. The motivation for this research is based on several classroom-based studies of pronunciation teaching and a desire to find out how other practitioners are dealing with this facet of teaching in order to better inform teachers, teacher educators and others with an interest in language teaching.
He also sees this approach as providing a relevant agenda for himself and other researchers in order to advance knowledge of pronunciation learning and teaching and provide learners with more successful pronunciation outcomes.