Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1931
  • E-ISSN: 2215-194X
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The present study investigated children’s ability to learn to produce a non-native vowel contrast through a listen-and-repeat training method that is traditionally used in foreign language classrooms. Sixteen Finnish preschoolers (aged 6–7 years) were tested. The stimuli were two semi-synthetic pseudo words with the familiar vowel /y/ and the novel vowel /ʉ/ embedded in the first syllable. The procedure included four training and four recording sessions on two consecutive days. The vowels produced by the children were acoustically analyzed to obtain the average values of the first and second formant. The results showed that the participants changed their production of /ʉ/ towards the acoustic model after the first training and the change remained throughout the experiment. Our findings suggest 6–7-year-old children learn to produce a non-native vowel contrast even with limited L2 sound exposure in a listen-and-repeat training setting.


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