Electropalatography (EPG) is a system designed to provide visual feedback of lingua-palatal contact via electrodes and computer software in real-time. Traditionally, EPG technology has been effective in the treatment of both developmental and acquired speech disorders. Little research, however, has been done to show the effectiveness of EPG feedback in second language instruction and foreign accent reduction. The present thesis is part of a larger project examining the utility of EPG technology as a potential tool for teaching English speakers learning German as a second language (L2). A common error that English speakers make in German pronunciation is the incorrect use of dark [ɫ], when only light [l] should be present. This study seeks to identify the individual contact patterns of light and dark [ɫ] in English to determine if the differences in lingua-palatal contact patterns warrant further testing of EPG feedback in L2 instruction of German. Productions of light and dark [ɫ] were collected from twelve native English speakers in phrases, words, and nonsense words. Regional activation percentages, center of gravity measures, and visual lingua-palatal contact maps indicated distinct differences between the participants light and dark [ɫ] productions. These differences typically did not vary significantly across vowel type, but did change as a function of the linguistic task. The findings of this study indicate that additional research into the efficacy of EPG visual feedback with L2 German learners is warranted. Thus, EPG may be an effective tool in teaching the allophonic sound contrast between light and dark [ɫ] for L2 learners.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





electropalatography, EPG, second language instruction, German, German teaching