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ERIC Number: EJ1152048
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1362-1688
Training with Rhythmic Beat Gestures Benefits L2 Pronunciation in Discourse-Demanding Situations
Gluhareva, Daria; Prieto, Pilar
Language Teaching Research, v21 n5 p609-631 Sep 2017
Recent research has shown that beat gestures (hand gestures that co-occur with speech in spontaneous discourse) are temporally integrated with prosodic prominence and that they help word memorization and discourse comprehension. However, little is known about the potential beneficial effects of beat gestures in second language (L2) pronunciation learning. This study investigates the impact of beat gesture observation on the acquisition of native-like speech patterns in English by examining the effect of a brief training with or without beat gestures on participants' ratings of accentedness. In a within-participants, pre-/post-test design, participants (undergraduate students learning English as a foreign language) watched a training video in which an L2 instructor gave spontaneous responses to discourse prompts. The prompts belonged to one of two categories (easy and difficult), and were presented by the instructor either with or without accompanying beat gestures. Participants' own answers to the prompts were recorded before and after training and evaluated by five native speaker judges. The results of the comparison between the participants' pre-training and post-training speech samples demonstrated that beat gesture training significantly improved the participants' accentedness ratings on the set of difficult (more discourse-demanding) items. The results of the study support the role of beat gestures as highlighters of rhythmic information and have implications for pronunciation instruction practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Spain (Barcelona)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A