“A better me”: Using acoustically modified learner voices as models

Henderson, Alice J.
Skarnitzl, Radek
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University of Hawaii National Foreign Language Resource Center
Center for Language & Technology
(co-sponsored by Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning, University of Texas at Austin)
This paper presents the results of a brief mixed-methods intervention which sought to modify the production of prominence-related features in L2 English by four native French-speaking university lecturers, in read-aloud speech. Selected parts of participants’ productions were acoustically modified and then used as the model in a Listen-and-Repeat protocol, where both quantitative (acoustic measures) and qualitative (free comments from discussion) data were collected. Acoustic measures were taken again from productions realized three months after the protocol, to trace longer term retention of modifications; expert listeners compared a selection of these productions to the original, diagnostic renditions, rating the degree of native-like rhythm and melody. Analysis of the quantitative and qualitative results confirm that imitating oneself can help individuals to modify prominence-related features of their pronunciation, that such changes can be retained over a 3-month period, but that people cannot reliably judge what they have modified. New potential is thus shown for Listen-and-Repeat, using one’s own modified voice, as an effective technique in pronunciation instruction.
Pronunciation Teaching, L2 English, Prominence, PSOLA
Henderson, A. J., & Skarnitzl, R. (2022). “A better me”: Using acoustically modified learner voices as models. Language Learning & Technology, 26(1), 1–21. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/73462
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