Struggling to become non-Hong-Kong-like: The necessity and effectiveness of training Hong Kong youngsters’ perception and production of general American English vowel contrasts

Janice W S WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Wong questions the prevalent quest for a native-like English accent in Hong Kong and its necessity through presenting the findings from an experiment. This involves training the perception and production of two English vowel contrasts by Cantonese learners of English through different training paradigms including the High Variability Phonetic Training, explicit articulation training, and a combination of both. Converging with prior reports on the efficacy of the training paradigms, the present results reveal differential training effectiveness on different sounds and a ceiling effect observed among participants. The finding that perception precedes production also challenges the predominant focus on production in L2 speech learning in Hong Kong. Taken together, this chapter highlights the importance to reconsider language proficiency in terms of intelligibility and comprehensibility rather than nativeness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Conflict in Hong Kong
Subtitle of host publicationAngles on a Coherent Imaginary
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages281-306
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9789811077661
ISBN (Print)9789811077654
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Explicit articulation training
  • High Variability Phonetic Training
  • Hong Kong English
  • L2 perception and production
  • Non-native contrast

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