CALICO Journal, Vol 22, No 2 (2005)

Contextualized Computer-based L2 Prosody Training: Evaluating the Effects of Discourse Context and Video Input

Debra M. Hardison
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014


Two types of contextualized input in prosody training were investigated for 28 advanced L2 speakers of English (L1 Chinese). Their oral presentations provided training materials. Native-speakers (NSs) of English provided global prosody ratings, and participants completed questionnaires on perceived training effectiveness. Two groups received training input using Anvil, a web-based annotation tool integrating the video of a speech event with visual displays of the pitch contour, and practiced with Real-Time Pitch (RTP) in Computerized Speech Lab including feedback from a NS. Two groups used only RTP to view their pitch contours and practiced with the same feedback. Within these pairs, one group received discourse-level input and the other individual sentences. Each group served as its own control in a time-series design. All had comparable levels of performance prior to training. Results indicated that although all groups improved as a result of training, discourse-level input produced better transfer to novel natural discourse. The presence of video was more helpful with discourse-level input than with individual sentences. Speech samples collected 1 week after training revealed sustained improvement. Questionnaire results support the use of computer-based tools and authentic speech samples. Findings strongly suggest that meaningful contextualized input is valuable in prosody training when the measurement is at the level of extended connected speech typical of natural discourse.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v22i2.175-190


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