A CALL Tool for Improving Second Language Acquisition of English Consonants by Japanese Learners

  • Lambacher S
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A growing number of ELT and foreign language programs are incorporating computer-assisted instruction into their curricula for pronunciation training. This paper explains the use of a CALL tool that utilizes acoustic data in real time to help Japanese L2 learners improve their perception and production of English consonants. The basic features of the speech learning software which runs on a networked workstation and is used for pronunciation training are described. The software enables users to perform an acoustic analysis of their recorded utterances with functions for viewing amplitude and pitch, and for viewing and measuring duration and frequency range. Electronic visual feedback (EVF) allows learners to visualize their own pronunciation and compare it with a native pattern, and to associate the frequency patterns on the computer screen with the movement of their articulators. The transference of data is in real time, which enables learners to get immediate feedback about their errors and progress from the teacher. In explaining EVF applications, the paper also provides a cross-linguistic comparison of English and Japanese consonants in order to shed light on the difficulties faced by Japanese learners in producing English consonants.

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  • Stephen Lambacher

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