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J Acoust Soc Am. 2015 Aug;138(2):817-32. doi: 10.1121/1.4926561.

The effect of phonetic production training with visual feedback on the perception and production of foreign speech sounds.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Experimental Psycholinguistics, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Geneva, 42 bd du Pont d'Arve, 1205 Geneva, Switzerland.
2
Neuroscience Department, Brain and Language Lab, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, Campus Biotech, 9 Chemin des Mines, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Second-language learners often experience major difficulties in producing non-native speech sounds. This paper introduces a training method that uses a real-time analysis of the acoustic properties of vowels produced by non-native speakers to provide them with immediate, trial-by-trial visual feedback about their articulation alongside that of the same vowels produced by native speakers. The Mahalanobis acoustic distance between non-native productions and target native acoustic spaces was used to assess L2 production accuracy. The experiment shows that 1 h of training per vowel improves the production of four non-native Danish vowels: the learners' productions were closer to the corresponding Danish target vowels after training. The production performance of a control group remained unchanged. Comparisons of pre- and post-training vowel discrimination performance in the experimental group showed improvements in perception. Correlational analyses of training-related changes in production and perception revealed no relationship. These results suggest, first, that this training method is effective in improving non-native vowel production. Second, training purely on production improves perception. Finally, it appears that improvements in production and perception do not systematically progress at equal rates within individuals.

PMID:
26328698
DOI:
10.1121/1.4926561
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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