ERIC Number: EJ954981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
Shared Orthography: Do Shared Written Symbols Influence the Perception of L2 Sounds?
Modern Language Journal, v95 n4 p541-557 Win 2011
This research investigates whether English speakers who learn Mandarin Chinese via a familiar orthography differ from those who learn via a non-familiar orthography in their perception of English-Mandarin sound pairs. Canadian English speakers (n = 32) participated in a series of experimental tasks. The tasks included pre- and posttest perception tests and language classes where the participants learned Mandarin through 1 of 3 means: Pinyin, the familiar orthography; Zhuyin, the non-familiar orthography; or no orthography. The results indicate that the 3 learning groups exhibited similar perceptual performances. These results are discussed in terms of the strength of the established first language (L1) orthographic system, the cognitive load, and the length of time required for the development of new symbol-sound associations. The data suggest that Mandarin instruction via Zhuyin does not appear to have an advantage over instruction via Pinyin, as conflict between 2 orthographic systems appears to neutralize any potential benefits. This is the first systematic study to investigate the potential influence of the L1 orthographic code on second language speech perception.
Descriptors: Auditory Perception, Mandarin Chinese, English, Second Language Learning, Written Language, Language Research, Foreign Countries, Task Analysis, Pretests Posttests, Native Language, Cognitive Ability, Orthographic Symbols, Phonemes, Second Language Instruction, Language Tests, Contrastive Linguistics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada