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Speech production and perception in adult Arabic learners of English: A comparative study of the role of production and perception training in the acquisition of British English vowels

Alshangiti, WMM; (2015) Speech production and perception in adult Arabic learners of English: A comparative study of the role of production and perception training in the acquisition of British English vowels. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis presents the results of four studies that investigated the perception and production of English by Saudi Arabic learners. Additionally, the thesis sought to investigate the role of different types of training, production- or perception-based, in learning, with the aim of understanding how training in different domains contributes to second language acquisition. A preliminary study (Study 1) investigated problematic phonemic contrasts for Arabic speakers, confirming that accuracy in perception and production depends on the similarity between L1 and L2 phonemes. Study 2 investigated the specificity of second language phonetic training by comparing the effect of three training programmes on the acquisition of British English vowels. Saudi Arabic learners were randomly assigned to one of three training programmes; Production Training (PT), High Variability Phonetic Training (HVPT), and a Hybrid Training Program (HTP). They completed a battery of tests before and after training. All participants improved after training, but improvements were largely domain-specific; production training led to improvements in production but not perception, whilst perception training led to improvements in perception but not production. Participants in the HTP showed improvements in both production and perception, indicating that only a small amount of training in production appears to be necessary to effect changes in production. Additionally, improvement on particular tasks appeared to be linked to initial L2 proficiency, and learning in perception and production was retained (Study 3) and production training appeared to be more beneficial for participants who were trained in a non-immersion setting (Study 4). In brief, the results suggest that L2 learners improve in both perception and production if training explicitly trains these domains. Production training was beneficial not only for L2 learners in an L2-speaking country, but also in non-immersion settings. Overall, these results suggest that a hybrid training programme would be most beneficial for L2 learners.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Speech production and perception in adult Arabic learners of English: A comparative study of the role of production and perception training in the acquisition of British English vowels
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: production training, speech plasticity, the relationship between speech perception and speech production
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1466643
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