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The influence of formal instruction on segmental speech production by German learners of English
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study examines the influence of formal L2 English instruction (FEI) on pronunciation accuracy of similar and new vowels in the framework of Flege’s Speech Learning Model (Flege, 1995a, 1999, 2002), focusing on selected segmental pronunciation features produced by native German speakers. A spectral vowel production experiment was carried out with 24 German students who attend sixth, ninth and twelfth grade of a south German secondary school by the time this study was conducted. Spectral characteristics of the similar vowel /ɛ/ and the new vowel /æ/,produced by each subject of the three groups (G6, G9, and G12), were compared to vowel data of native English speakers. In order to test the influence of formal instruction on selected phonetic segments, which are known to cause difficulties for native German learners of English, three native English listeners judged on a three pointscale the intelligibility of the segments produced. The results of the vowel experiment showed significant influence of FEI on pronunciation accuracy of some characteristics of the similar vowel /ɛ/ but not of the new vowel /æ/. The listener rating experiment showed that FEI had on average no influence on pronunciation accuracy of the three L2 English learner groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 23 p.
Keyword [en]
Segmental speech production, formal instruction, pronunciation accuracy, Speech Learning Model, Similarity, Bark-difference, German
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-72489OAI: diva2:499814
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-08-27 Created: 2012-02-13 Last updated: 2012-08-27Bibliographically approved

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