Listening / Pronunciation

The perception-production link is well attested. It is almost self-evident – to me. This post will discuss recently-read articles that demonstrate the perception-production link. That is, these studies demonstrate that pronunciation can be improved by listening practice.


The first, What predicts the effectiveness of foreign language pronunciation instruction? Investigating the role of perception and other individual differences, describes an investigation into second language (L2) learners’ perception of L2 sounds as a prediction of their improvement in pronunciation. The author, Elizabeth Kissling tested 74 English speaking learners of Spanish and the result, she says “lends credence to claim target-like perception is a precursor to target-like production.” This is particularly true in a formal learning context, she adds. The article is here:


A second article, A system for adaptive high-variability segmental perceptual training: Implementation, effectiveness, transfer, is by a group that includes John Levis. Published in Language Learning & Technology in 2018, it discusses using High Variability Phonemic Training (HVPT) in a computer based training program. Interesting for the sake of the study conducted, the article also has an excellent discussion about the necessity of perceptual training and the success of earlier training studies. This is a good read for anyone looking for information on, and references related to, phonemic acquisition. The citation is:

Qian, M., Chukharev-Hudilainen, E., & Levis, J. (2018). A system for adaptive high- variability segmental perceptual training: Implementation, effectiveness, transfer. Language Learning & Technology, 22(1), 69–96. doi:10125/44582


The third article I will mention is, The Effects Of High-variability Phonetic Training on Cantonese ESL Learners’ Production of English /ɪ/-/iː/ Contrast – an Acoustic Analysis. This study was conducted by Janice W. S. Wong of Baptist University in Hong Kong and did what the title says. And it points out that the training was successful. “The study,” she says, “indicated that there exists the possibility of successfully training ESL learners to produce a non-native contrast more accurately… the simplicity of procedures of the training was also of high importance for language teachers. HVPT is practical enough to be adopted easily in schools or learning centers since it is not a complicated design.”


I have been saying this for years because that is what b4 does.

YouTube: b4 from aka-kara English

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