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ERIC Number: EJ1045162
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Nov
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0008-4506
What Predicts the Effectiveness of Foreign-Language Pronunciation Instruction? Investigating the Role of Perception and Other Individual Differences
Kissling, Elizabeth M.
Canadian Modern Language Review, v70 n4 p532-558 Nov 2014
This study investigated second language (L2) learners' perception of L2 sounds as an individual difference that predicted their improvement in pronunciation after receiving instruction. Learners were given explicit pronunciation instruction in a series of modules added to their Spanish as a foreign language curriculum and were then tested on their pronunciation accuracy. Their perception of the target sounds was measured with an AX discrimination task. Though the best predictor of pronunciation post-test score was pre-test score, perception made a unique and significant contribution. The other factors associated with better pronunciation of some L2 sounds were age, attitude, and time spent using Spanish outside the classroom. The results suggest that instructors should give adequate time for learners to hone their perception of target sounds at the outset of pronunciation instruction, because their initial ability to perceive the target sounds will, in part, determine how much they learn from such instruction. The results support models of L2 speech acquisition that claim that target-like perception is a precursor to target-like production, in this case in a formal learning context.
University of Toronto Press. 5201 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON M3H 5T8, Canada. Tel: 416-667-7810; Fax: 800-221-9985; Fax: 416-667-7881; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Modern Language Aptitude Test