Lord 2008 investigated a podcast project in a Spanish phonetics class, found positive results but there was no control group for comparison and it wasn’t acoustic analysis this project seeks to rectify some of that
RQ1 - for right now, talking just about r and ptk, not overall pronunciation.
Instructors planned syllabus, curriculum, lesson plans, tests, assignments together so that the classes were as uniform as possible
Show how the tap and trill are acoustically distinguishable visibly
Remind that here a LOWER vot value would be more target like, we’re not looking at percentages, so the numbers that decrease are those that are in green (good).
Point out:Increased consciousness and awareness, notice the gap, increased confidenceSelf-analysis is a skill that can be taught, and can go beyond the specific exercises in which it’s used.
EXPERIMENTAL Point out:Excited about self improvement, small steps; appreciated peer feedback; community support (point out that this was repeated over and over)
CONTROL who worked alone– when told about the project they were asked if they would have wanted to have participated. Most said no, because it would have been more work, embarrassing, time consuming or “dreadful” (!)Last comment is a dissenting view, although one of few – more input, more critique, more opportunity to evaluate, seems eager to form a community
Conclusions = go back to research questions to answer them.
Community – not beneficial because not true interaction? Not real negotiation for meaning?
L2 Phonology and Online Communities
SECOND LANGUAGEPHONOLOGY ANDONLINE COMMUNITIES Gillian Lord University of Florida Stasie Harrington University of Wisconsin
MAIN PREMISES Second language acquisition process depends on input, interaction and output (Long, 1996; Pica, 1994; Swain, 1985) Benefits of pronunciation instruction/training (Arteaga, 2000; Castino, 1992, 1996; Elliott, 1995, 1997; González- Bueno, 1997; Lord, 2005; Major, 1998; Moyer, 1999; Terrell, 1989; inter alia) Technology tools can be used to combine these factors: chat (Darhower, 2007) discussion boards (Arnold & Ducate, 2006; Arnold, Ducate, Lomicka, & Lord, 2005; Fahy, Crawford, & Ally, 2001; Paulus & Roberts, 2006) podcasting (Ducate & Lomicka, 2009; Lord, 2008)
RESEARCH QUESTIONS1. Do L2 learners improve their pronunciation of target sounds over the course of a semester engaged in self-analysis?2. Do learners who participate in podcast communities with other learners improve their pronunciation more than learners working alone?3. How do learners react to engaging in self- analysis? How do learners react to the community aspect of the podcast project?
PARTICIPANTSExperimental group N=22 Enrolled in Phonetics course at U Wisconsin – Madison Mostly Spanish majors and minorsControl group N=18 Enrolled in Phonetics course at U Wisconsin – Madison, taught by same instructor Mostly Spanish majors and minors
TREATMENTExperimental group Podcast project with students at UF in similar course Completed assigned recordings every 3 weeks Posted recordings to podcast page Self-analysis of own pronunciation Group analysis and commentsControl group Completed assigned recordings every 3 weeks Posted recordings to online course management page Self-analysis of own pronunciation
DATA AND ANALYSIS Used first and last recordings Reactions to project Acoustic analysis measures of five target segments: /ɾ/ (25) /r/ (6) /p/ (10) /t̪/ (9) /k/ (14) La lluvia amarilla (Julio Llamazares)
ACOUSTIC ANALYSIS Tap /ɾ/ vs. trill /r/ distinction
/pt̪k/ - Voice Onset Time The length of time that passes between when a stop consonant is released and when voicing (the vibration of the vocal folds, or periodicity), begins
ACOUSTIC RESULTS: tap /ɾ/ No significantAccuracy percentages changes in either group PRE POST recording recording Change Control 75% 73% -2% +6.6 Experimental 71.4% 78% %
ACOUSTIC RESULTS: trill /r/ Significant improvementAccuracy percentages in both groups PRE POST recording recording Change Control 19% 40% +21% +20.95 Experimental 17.05% 38% %
No significantACOUSTIC RESULTS: /pt̪k/ changes in either groupResults in miliseconds PRE POST recording recording Change /p/ Control 25.31 26.99 +1.68 Experimental 26.73 21.98 -4.75 /t/ Control 27.45 28.01 +0.56 Experimental 31.99 26.38 -5.61 /k/ Control 45.33 42.74 -2.59 Experimental 47.89 40.31 -7.58
QUALITATIVE RESULTS: self-analysis reactions EXPERIMENTAL I learned that it’s not just as simple as saying the words in Spanish without really thinking about how to pronounce them. I didn’t think that the recordings would help me improve my pronunciation so much but I am really conscience of correctly pronouncing the “v” in Spanish and I know that eventually it will become something natural. Through the habit of analyzing my speech, I began to pay closer attention in my other Spanish class or at any time I was speaking Spanish. CONTROL By continually analyzing my own pronunciation, I was able to recognize [my weaknesses], and I am now much more aware of it. From a quick glance back through recordings, I can see huge improvement If I hadn’t listened to myself and spoke about these mistakes, I’m almost certain I would keep making them. It wasn’t humiliating, per se, but having to talk about your mistakes makes you not want to do them again! One interesting thing I found while listening to my recordings again was how I sounded more confident in the last recording as opposed to the first one.
QUALITATIVE RESULTS: community reactions (Experimental) I noticed that most of the comments I received at the start of the grabaciones were eliminated by the next. This is exciting to me! I did not realize that my Spanish improved that much (or used to be that bad- hah), but it is encouraging to see the steps I’ve made throughout the course. It was also really helpful to get feedback from my peers, who for the most part affirmed what I thought and also offered some really good suggestions. It was refreshing to hear other people’s comments on how I speak. In high school we sometimes had oral tests where the teacher could point out areas of improvement but since being in college, there hasn’t been one oral test to help me see what I need to improve on. I enjoyed learning from this experience. I also really enjoyed that our fellow group members supported each other and told each other not only what we did incorrectly but also
QUALITATIVE RESULTS: individual reactions (control) I do not think I would have liked to participate in the podcast project. I would not have liked other people listening to my recordings. In addition, it would require a lot of extra time to listen to the other group members recordings and analyze his/her information as well. Similarly, for some individuals computer access may be an issue. I was able to work through my pronunciation issues to gain insight on how to advance my Spanish speaking without comparing myself to other students recordings or problems. I’m sure that the podcast project was also extremely helpful for the other class, but in the end, I think I would probably prefer our classes style of recordings instead. I don’t think I would have liked to participate in the podcast project because I would have to maintain a blog, something which sounds dreadful to me. I definitely would have liked to participate in the podcast project. I feel this is a great way to improve even more in speaking Spanish and that it would be very beneficial. Instead of only having to evaluate yourself, you can hear how other students sound and compare yourself to them. Also, you have others critiquing your pronunciation, which would give you further advice and constructive criticism on what to improve on and what you’re doing well. It seems like a great experience to compare your pronunciation with students from another college and to communicate with them as you’re going through
DISCUSSIONOnly significant improvement occurred on trill. Due to its salience? 75% (18/24) of responses on follow-up survey mentioned the trill. Due to phonetics/phonology problems between L1-L2? Trill is only "new" (e.g., Flege 1987) sound to Spanish, while others exist in some variant in English and thus may be more difficult to acquire or learned later (Flege 1995, Major 2001, Zampini 2008).Participants appreciated opportunity to self- analyze. Groups enjoyed collaboration. Individuals claimed to prefer that format.
CONCLUSIONS1. Do L2 learners improve their pronunciation of target sounds over the course of a semester engaged in self- analysis? Yes, but only minimally, and inconsistently. The only significant change occurred with /r/.2. Do learners who participate in podcast communities with other learners improve their pronunciation more than learners working alone? No. There were no group differences on any of the sounds.3. How do learners react to engaging in self-analysis and, in some cases, to the community aspect of the podcast project? Self-analysis was appreciated by all. Those who engaged in collaborative communities found them beneficial. Those who did not expressed little desire to.
IMPLICATIONS Recording and self-analysis can be beneficial in aquiring more native-like phonological realizations (Lord 2005, 2008). Technology tools offer new opportunities to practice language skills, (e.g., Llisteri 2001, 2007). Building community, while an inherent part of the educational process (e.g., Rovai 2002) may not enhance benefits in this case. Collaboration among learners, outside of class time, helps solve one of the primary concerns among language teachers - not enough time!
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