General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 15:00 to 15:30 Symposium
Foreign accent imitation as L2 articulatory training
Speaker: Charlotte Everitt, Universitat de Barcelona

Authors: Charlotte Everitt & Joan C. Mora


Accent mimicking tasks have been previously used to assess the formation of L2 sound categories [1] and learners’ awareness of non-distinctive phonetic differences between L1 and L2 sounds [2], but they have not been tested experimentally as a training tool in the development of L2 pronunciation. This paper presents and discusses the outcome of mimicking tasks that make use of learners’ imitation skills to promote L2 pronunciation development. L1-Spanish EFL learners (aged 14-15) were assigned to two training groups that imitated speech materials (a set of 48 isolated words and 24 sentences recorded by 6 L1-English talkers) and engaged in speaking tasks (pre-prepared dialogue and a short spontaneous conversation in pairs) either in English-accented Spanish (accent training group, n=17) or in English (L2 training group, n=17). A group of untrained learners doing regular EFL class activities (n=15) was used as control. Through the imitation of an English accent on their Spanish, the accent training group was expected to raise awareness of cross-language sound differences, and to indirectly receive L2 articulatory practice while avoiding the output constraints imposed by insufficient L2 knowledge. All participants were pre- and post-tested on the perception (identification task based on VOT continua) and production (picture naming and delayed sentence repetition tasks) of English oral stops, and the perception of cross-language differences between Spanish and English oral stops (rated dissimilarity task). The accent training learners increased their awareness of the VOT differences between Spanish and English stops to a greater extent than the L2 training learners, and also perceived and produced English stops more accurately at post-test. The use of accent imitation tasks in L2 pronunciation development will be discussed.
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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
14:30 h. to 15:00 h.Symposium

Methodological issues in perceptual training: Empirical results and implications for L2 pronunciation learning

Speaker: Angélica Carlet, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
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