The Effects of High and Low Variability Phonetic Training on the Perception and Production of English Vowels /e/-/æ/ by Cantonese ESL Learners with High and Low L2 Proficiency Levels

Janice W S WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of two perceptually-based training paradigms in both the perception and production of English /e/ and /æ/ by Cantonese ESL learners with high and low listening and oral proficiency levels. Sixty-four subjects participated in the study, in which 22 (9 with high proficiency, H-HV; 13 with low proficiency, L-HV) were trained under High Variability Phonetic Training (HVPT) approach, 19 (8 with high proficiency, H-LV; 11 with low proficiency, L-LV) were trained under Low Variability Phonetic Training (LVPT) approach whereas 23 (10 with high proficiency, H-CO; 13 with low proficiency, L-CO) were the control subjects. Both training approaches were effective in improving the subjects' perception of the two vowels, with HVPT groups showing more robust improvement than LVPT groups. Perceptual learning could also be generalized to new words and new speakers and be transferred to the production domain, with HVPT groups outperforming LVPT groups. However, subjects with different proficiency levels learned to similar degrees in all tests. The results demonstrated that both approaches offered a type of learning that allows attention to focus on phonetic information, which is different from what is learned in an L2 classroom; whereas stimulus variability also plays a role in the learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association (Interspeech 2014)
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
Pages524-528
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781634394352
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014
Event15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: Celebrating the Diversity of Spoken Languages, INTERSPEECH 2014 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 14 Sep 201418 Sep 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association
PublisherInternational Speech Communication Association
ISSN (Print)1990-9770

Conference

Conference15th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association: Celebrating the Diversity of Spoken Languages, INTERSPEECH 2014
Country/TerritorySingapore
Period14/09/1418/09/14

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Signal Processing
  • Software
  • Modelling and Simulation

User-Defined Keywords

  • High variability phonetic training
  • L2 acquisition
  • L2 proficiency
  • Perception and production of non-native contrast

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