Development of L2 Spanish VOT before and after a brief pronunciation training session
We present a study of the development of L2 stop VOT (voice onset time) in lower-level English-speaking learners of Spanish over the course of a college semester. Participants were recorded six times in two-week intervals. Halfway through the semester, students received a brief pronunciation training session with practice and feedback. Overall, the learners did not lower their L2 VOTs in the first half of the study, before pronunciation training. Following training, however, they lowered their mean VOTs for Spanish voiceless stops significantly. A similar effect was not found for their mean VOTs of Spanish voiced stops, in line with prior work suggesting that prevoicing may be harder to acquire. Yet careful examination suggests that learners are increasing the frequency with which they use prevoicing in Spanish, suggesting this metric might inform future work on L2 Spanish pronunciation development. This work has implications for teaching and research in second language pronunciation.
Keywords: VOT development, pronunciation training, L2 Spanish, lower-level L2 coursework, novice learners, individual differences, foreign language learning
Published online: 03 December 2019
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