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Successful second language pronunciation learning is linked to domain-general auditory processing rather than music aptitude

Zheng, C; Saito, K; Tierney, A; (2020) Successful second language pronunciation learning is linked to domain-general auditory processing rather than music aptitude. Second Language Research 10.1177/0267658320978493. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Whereas a growing amount of attention has been directed to the role of perceptual-cognitive aptitude in successful second language (L2) lexicogrammar learning, scholars have begun to investigate the same topic in the context of L2 pronunciation learning. To date, there is ongoing discussion on the mechanism underlying L2 speech learning in relation to music aptitude and domain-general auditory processing ability. Situated within 48 moderately experienced Chinese learners of English in the UK (length of residence = one year), the current study examined the relationship between music aptitude, auditory perception, and L2 pronunciation proficiency. Results revealed that music aptitude and auditory processing were partially overlapping, whereas both abilities were independent of participants’ past and current L2 language learning experience. Whereas individual differences in auditory processing demonstrated significant associations with various dimensions of L2 pronunciation proficiency, music aptitude was only weakly predictive of prosodic aspects of L2 pronunciation proficiency. Comparatively, none of the experience variables were related to acquisition within the current dataset.

Type: Article
Title: Successful second language pronunciation learning is linked to domain-general auditory processing rather than music aptitude
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0267658320978493
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658320978493
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page
Keywords: aptitude, auditory processing, immersion, music, second language pronunciation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10118732
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