Honors Theses

Date of Award

Summer 8-15-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Modern Languages

First Advisor

Vance K Schaefer

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

The effectiveness of adding a production component to a High Variability Phonetic Training (HVPT) regimen to improve native Japanese speaker’s pronunciation of English [b], [v], [f], and [h] was investigated. L1 Japanese-speaking English learners were recruited as participants, and a pretest-posttest procedure was used to evaluate improvement at production of the target consonants. For the pretest and posttest, recordings were taken of participants pronouncing twelve tokens, and the recordings were rated for intelligibility by a phonetically trained native English-speaking rater. Participants were divided into two groups. Group A received only HVPT training, and group B received a regimen of half HVPT training and half production practice. Performance during the HVPT portions of the training was tracked, and the pretest and posttest were compared to determine if improvement at production of target consonants occurred. Although findings were largely inconclusive, clear patterns emerged that may offer insight into how native Japanese speakers perceive particular sound contrasts in English.

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