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Journal of Second Language Pronunciation

image of Journal of Second Language Pronunciation
ISSN 2215-1931
E-ISSN 2215-194X

The Journal of Second Language Pronunciation is a scholarly journal devoted to research into the acquisition, perception, production, teaching, assessment, and description of prosodic and segmental pronunciation of second languages in all contexts of learning. The journal encourages research that connects theory and practice, enhances our understanding of L2 phonological learning processes, and provides connections between L2 pronunciation and other areas of applied linguistics such as pragmatics, CALL, and speech perception. Contributions focusing on empirical research will represent all portions of the methodological spectrum including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies. The journal invites papers on topics such as intelligibility and comprehensibility, accent, phonological acquisition, the use of technology (such as automatic speech recognition, text-to-speech, and CAPT), spoken language assessment, the social impact of L2 pronunciation, the ethics of pronunciation teaching, pronunciation acquisition in less commonly taught languages, speech perception and its relationship to speech production, and other topics.


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  • A prospectus for pronunciation research in the 21st century: A point of view
    • Authors: Murray J. Munro, and Tracey M. Derwing
    • Source: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2015, pages: 11 –42
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    • This inaugural issue of the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, an auspicious step forward in our field, gives us an opportunity to take stock of current trends in pronunciation research with an eye to the future of this evolving field. As longtime researchers, we have learned many lessons by trial and error and wish to share our perspectives on sound methodological practices and on pitfalls to avoid. Our review follows the outline of a traditional experimental investigation, starting with the conceptualization of pronunciation research studies. We then discuss theoretical motivations, choice of constructs, and issues arising from the literature review. Next we compare several research designs and summarize types of data commonly used in pronunciation research. We then move on to consider data collection and analysis, focusing on reliability, effect sizes, and speaker variability, and to offer some caveats regarding the interpretation of results. We conclude by suggesting areas for future second language speech research, in terms of both replications and new studies.
  • The interaction of research and pedagogy
  • Beyond rating data: What do listeners believe underlies their accentedness judgments?
    • Authors: Rachel Hayes-Harb, and Jane F. Hacking
    • Source: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, Volume 1, Issue 1, 2015, pages: 43 –64
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    • The accentedness judgment task is widely used in the study of second language speech, and has proven to elicit remarkably reliable ratings across listeners. Despite this reliability, however, we know little about how listeners arrive at accentedness ratings. In the present study we seek to illuminate the role that listener attitudes and expectations play in assessments of accentedness by probing listeners’ explicit criteria for the judgments. We asked ten native English listeners to rate the accentedness of five native Bosnian and five native English speakers, and then to justify their ratings in a semi-structured interview. Analysis of the interview data indicates that despite the elegance of quantitative accentedness data and its remarkable reliability, it appears that when making accentedness judgments, listeners may activate a complex set of attitudes and expectations about speakers that go far beyond a straightforward bottom-up analysis of the speech signal.
  • Linguistic dimensions of second language accent and comprehensibility
    • Authors: Dustin Crowther, Pavel Trofimovich, and Talia Isaacs
    • Source: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, Volume 2, Issue 2, 2016, pages: 160 –182
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    • The current study investigated the effect of listener status (native, nonnative) and language background (French, Mandarin) on global ratings of second language speech. Twenty-six nonnative English listeners representing the two language backgrounds ( = 13 each) rated the comprehensibility and accentedness of 40 French speakers of English. These same speakers were previously rated by native listeners and coded for 19 linguistic measures of speech (e.g., segmental errors, word stress errors, grammar accuracy) in Trofimovich and Isaacs (2012). Analyses indicated no difference in global ratings between nonnative and native listeners, or between the two nonnative listener groups. Similarly, no major differences in the linguistic dimensions associated with each group’s ratings existed. However, analyses of verbal reports for a subset of nonnative listeners ( = 5 per group) demonstrated that each group attributed their ratings to somewhat different linguistic cues.

  • Teacher cognition of pronunciation teaching amongst English language teachers in Uruguay
    • Author: Graeme Couper
    • Source: Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, Volume 2, Issue 1, 2016, pages: 29 –55
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    • This article reports on the concerns and issues which 28 experienced and well-qualified teachers expressed during individual semi-structured interviews with the researcher. It describes and discusses the participants’ views, pulling together themes representative of a wide range of perspectives on pronunciation teaching. Themes include: teacher anxiety about pronunciation and pronunciation teaching; external factors affecting pronunciation teaching such as curriculum and exam pressures, textbooks, and training received; approaches to teaching and error correction; activities and techniques; and issues related to literacy bias, listen-and-repeat, use of phonemic symbols and pronunciation goals and models. These findings, taken in conjunction with studies of teacher cognition in other contexts, serve to inform all those with an interest in English language teaching, whether they be researchers, teachers or teacher educators, curriculum designers or textbook writers.

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