This study investigates the effect of explicit teaching of prosodic features on developing listening comprehension by interpreter trainees. Two groups of student interpreters were formed. All were native speakers of Farsi who studied English translation and interpreting at the BA level at the State University of Arak, Iran. Participants were assigned to groups at random, but with equal division between genders (9 female and 9 male students in each group). No significant differences in English language skills (TOEFL scores) could be established between the groups. Participants took a standard pretest of listening comprehension before starting the program. The control group had exercises in listening comprehension, while the experimental group spent part of the time on theoretical explanation of, and practical exercises with, prosodic features of English. The total instruction time was the same for both groups, i.e. 8 hours. Students then took a standard listening comprehension test. The results show that the prosodic feature awareness training significantly improved the students’ listening comprehension skills. The results have pedagogical implications for curriculum designers, interpreting programs for training future interpreters, material producers and all who are involved in language study and pedagogy.
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