ERIC Number: EJ807534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 50
Segmental Acquisition in Adult ESL Learners: A Longitudinal Study of Vowel Production
Munro, Murray J.; Derwing, Tracey M.
Language Learning, v58 n3 p479-502 Sep 2008
Research on second language (L2) phonetic learning indicates that, even in adults, segmental acquisition remains possible through L2 experience. However, the findings of previous cross-sectional studies of vowel and consonant learning have proved difficult to interpret. In this longitudinal investigation of 44 recent arrivals in Canada, productions of 10 English vowels in CVC context were elicited at 2-month intervals and evaluated by trained and untrained listeners. Improved intelligibility was observed, even in the absence of focused instruction on vowels. The results support the proposal that L2 phonetic learning is initially rapid but tends to plateau within a few months. However, this finding is complicated by different learning trajectories across vowels, differential L1 influences, and possible effects of word frequency.
Descriptors: Intervals, Phonetics, Vowels, Second Language Learning, English (Second Language), Foreign Countries, Word Frequency, Longitudinal Studies, Case Studies, Phonemes, Adults, Learning Processes, Pronunciation, Oral Language
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada