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ERIC Number: EJ949812
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0033-6882
Identifying Problematic Segmental Features to Acquire Comprehensible Pronunciation in EFL Settings: The Case of Japanese Learners of English
Saito, Kazuya
RELC Journal: A Journal of Language Teaching and Research, v42 n3 p363-378 Dec 2011
The present study examines how to identify problematic pronunciation features for particular EFL learners, namely native Japanese speakers (NJs) learning English, to acquire comprehensible pronunciation, and tests the appropriateness of the selection. The study comprises two phases. In the identification phase, eight English-specific segmentals, [image omitted], were selected as the most problematic for NJs by drawing on various cross-linguistic analyses (i.e. a remedial approach) as well as a survey in which the advice of 48 experienced NJ English teachers was examined (i.e. an expert judgment approach). In the experimental phase, the relative influence of these sounds on comprehensibility and accentedness was analyzed. Twenty NJ participants read two types of sentences: sentences containing eight English-specific segmentals and sentences without them. Four native English speakers (NEs) subsequently rated all speech stimuli on a rubric of accentedness and comprehensibility. Significant differences were found between NEs' ratings of the two types of sentences both in the domain of comprehensibility and accentedness. The results indicate that the eight segmentals determine NEs' speech perception to a great degree, which in turn provides some support for the validity of the identification procedure (i.e. the combination of the remedial and expert judgment approaches). (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables, and 5 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A