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Auditory precision hypothesis-L2: Dimension-specific relationships between auditory processing and second language segmental learning

Saito, Kazuya; Kachlicka, Magdalena; Suzukida, Yui; Petrova, Katya; Lee, Bradford J; Tierney, Adam; (2022) Auditory precision hypothesis-L2: Dimension-specific relationships between auditory processing and second language segmental learning. Cognition , 229 , Article 105236. 10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105236. Green open access

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Abstract

Growing evidence suggests a broad relationship between individual differences in auditory processing ability and the rate and ultimate attainment of language acquisition throughout the lifespan, including post-pubertal second language (L2) speech learning. However, little is known about how the precision of processing of specific auditory dimensions relates to the acquisition of specific L2 segmental contrasts. In the context of 100 late Japanese-English bilinguals with diverse profiles of classroom and immersion experience, the current study set out to investigate the link between the perception of several auditory dimensions (F3 frequency, F2 frequency, and duration) in non-verbal sounds and English [r]-[l] perception and production proficiency. Whereas participants' biographical factors (the presence/absence of immersion) accounted for a large amount of variance in the success of learning this contrast, the outcomes were also tied to their acuity to the most reliable, new auditory cues (F3 variation) and the less reliable but already-familiar cues (F2 variation). This finding suggests that individuals can vary in terms of how they perceive, utilize, and make the most of information conveyed by specific acoustic dimensions. When perceiving more naturalistic spoken input, where speech contrasts can be distinguished via a combination of numerous cues, some can attain a high-level of L2 speech proficiency by using nativelike and/or non-nativelike strategies in a complementary fashion.

Type: Article
Title: Auditory precision hypothesis-L2: Dimension-specific relationships between auditory processing and second language segmental learning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105236
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2022.105236
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Auditory processing, Second language speech, Aptitude, Segmentals, English-as-a-second-language
UCL classification: 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
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10154989
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