General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 14:30 to 15:00 Symposium
Methodological issues in perceptual training: Empirical results and implications for L2 pronunciation learning
Speaker: Angélica Carlet, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Authors: Angelica Carlet, Juli Cebrian, Núria Gavaldà


Learning a second language (L2) after childhood is challenging, particularly in an instructional setting with limited input from the target language (TL). In this context, high variability phonetic training (HVPT) has been found to enhance L2 learners’ ability to perceive and produce TL sounds [1, 2, 3, among others]. However, research on training still faces a number of methodological challenges related to the selection of participants, the nature of the stimuli and tasks used in training and testing, the distribution of talkers, and the way of evaluating if learning is robust (i.e., generalization of learning to new dimensions). This paper discusses some of these challenges in light of the outcomes of a series of training studies involving Catalan-Spanish bilinguals’ perception and production of a subset of English vowels and consonants. The studies differed in several ways: the combination of tasks, the nature of the stimuli, the level of English of the participants and the nature of the control group. In a first small-scale study a group of advanced learners improved their perception of a subset of English consonants and vowels after a short-term training regime and despite fairly high results at pre-test [4]. A second and larger scale study contrasted the effect of two training methods, identification and discrimination, on the perception and production of trained and untrained English vowels and stops [5]. Both methods were found to have an overall positive effect, although the main effects and the extent of generalization differed as a factor of target sound. Overall training was effective regardless of level of experience (intermediate and advanced) confirming previous studies [6]. These results are discussed in light of experimental design issues and contrasted with a follow-up study that tests generalization further, avoids potential problems like task familiarity and tests lower proficiency more naïve learners.
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Symposium: Challenges in L2 pronunciation teaching and learning: experimental studies
Place: Room A-14

Other activities in Symposium: Challenges in L2 pronunciation teaching and learning: experimental studies
16:00 h. to 16:30 h.Symposium

Vowel Learning: Perceptual versus Articulatory training

Speaker: Cristina Aliaga García, Universitat de Barcelona
15:30 h. to 16:00 h.Symposium

The role of beat gesture perception and production in L2 pronunciation training

Speaker: Olga Kushch, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Speaker: Pilar Prieto, ICREA-Universitat Pompeu Fabra
15:00 h. to 15:30 h.Symposium

Foreign accent imitation as L2 articulatory training

Speaker: Charlotte Everitt, Universitat de Barcelona