Factors Affecting Pronunciation Accuracy in English as a Foreign Language: The Case of Spanish-Catalan Intermediate Learners
AbstractIn the present study, we investigate the factors that influence pronunciation accuracy by Spanish-Catalan bilinguals learning English as a foreign language (EFL). A group of intermediate EFL learners were recorded producing a series of cognate and non-cognate words in two different conditions: a reading aloud task and a delayed repetition task. In the reading aloud task, the target words were presented as visual prompts in a carrier phrase. In the delayed repetition, words were presented aurally and participants repeated them after a two-second delay followed by an audio prompt. The words were phonemically transcribed using PHON. As expected, task condition and cognate-status influenced the percentage of correct vowels and consonants. The number of errors was significantly higher in the reading aloud condition than in the delayed repetition condition. Cognates exhibited more pronunciation errors than non-cognates. In contrast, learners’ vocabulary-size and lexical frequency did not have a clear impact on the results. These findings suggest that focusing on spelling might interfere with the way EFL learners process the phonological forms of words.
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