The importance of accent reduction to those who are learning English as a second language cannot be understated as it has direct and indirect impacts on credibility and income. This study is an evaluation of an instructional technique involving visual feedback through an electropalatography device to assist speakers in acquiring the /r/ and /l/ sound contrast in American English and whether or not that progress varied across speech task type or word position. This study involved four native Japanese participants in their first semester at the English Language Center located at Brigham Young University. Each subject participated in 7 45-minute sessions over the course of 4 weeks. The sessions used a hybrid instructional approach which included traditional auditory feedback combined with intermittent, real-time visual feedback provided by the EPG sensor. Measurements of the third formant of each target sound was extracted from baseline, posttreatment, and follow-up recordings using Praat acoustic analysis software. Overall, all subjects showed a greater contrast in F3 from the baseline assessment to the posttreatment assessment. The subjects demonstrated a greater contrast in F3 during the word task type and also when the phonemes were in the final position of words.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Price, Summer Ann, "A Preliminary Study Using Electropalatography in Second Language Instruction: An Examination of Formant Frequencies" (2019). Theses and Dissertations. 9105.
electropalatography, Japanese, second-language acquisition, task type, accent reduction