Phonological Awareness Impact on Articulatory Accuracy of the Spanish Liquid [r] in Japanese FL Learners of Spanish

Document Type: Research Paper

Author

International Graduate Program in Language Sciences, Graduate School of International Cultural Studies, Tohoku University. Sendai, Japan

Abstract

Foreign language learners tend to avoid phonological difficulties and simply transfer sounds whether from their L1 or any pre-existing L2. Phonological awareness (PA) gives students an active role in understanding their own potential in improving pronunciation through several methods. However, such methods are likely to be restricted to only passive learning methods, such as repetition, reading and lectures. In this study, 118 Japanese students of Spanish were tested in their articulation ability of the Spanish liquid [r] segment; the students were divided into two groups: the control group (GA), composed by 59 students, which did not undergo any special PA training, and the PA trained group (GB), composed as well by 59 students, which underwent only one PA intervention. The articulatory accuracy rate of GA for such segment after their first year of language acquisition was 27.16, while for GB it was 72.54 after the PA intervention. The improvement of GB after the PA intervention was highly significant in regard to the learners’ phonological accuracy (p < 0.001)

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