Directing Attention to Pronunciation in the Second Language Classroom
Motivated by predictions of the theory of Input Processing, this study adds to previous research on second language (L2) Spanish pronunciation learning by investigating the impact of two distinct types of pronunciation assignments on first language (L1) English L2 Spanish students’ improvement in pronunciation of the vowels /e, o/. Two sections of a Spanish conversation class (n = 28) received identical instruction in Spanish articulatory phonetics over the course of one semester. One section (n = 15) completed a production-based pronunciation assignment five times throughout the semester in addition to this instruction. In this assignment, students recorded themselves and received feedback from the instructor. The other section (n = 13) completed a perception-based pronunciation assignment designed to force students to attend to English and Spanish phonetic differences five times throughout the semester. This assignment required students to listen to non-native Spanish speakers speaking in Spanish and to provide feedback on their pronunciation. Findings suggest that when students are forced to attend to differences in L1 and L2 articulatory phonetics, they are likely to improve their own pronunciation more than when they only receive articulatory phonetic instruction or when they complete assignments that do not require strict attention to L1 and L2 phonetic differences, such as speaking and receiving feedback.
Counselman, David W., "Directing Attention to Pronunciation in the Second Language Classroom" (2015). Modern Foreign Languages Faculty Work. 20.
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