Chapter 6. Phonological development in L2 speech production during study abroad programmes differing in length of stay

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The present study addresses the main objectives of the SALA Project regarding the impact of Study Abroad (SA), as well as possible differential effects of Length of Stay (LoS), on second language (L2) phonology. Two groups of undergraduate Spanish/Catalan learners of English following three-month and six-month SA programmes respectively were recorded performing a reading aloud task before and after SA. A group of native speakers of English provided baseline data used to evaluate the learners’ performance. Segmental production accuracy was analysed by conducting acoustic measurements for vowel duration and quality and for voice onset time (VOT) in voiceless plosives. Results suggested no strong effect of SA and no significant differences in the learners’ production as a function of LoS.


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