Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: The effect of explicit instruction and auditory/audio-visual training on Chinese EFL learner's perception of intonation
Authors: Chen, Yiling
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Intonation accounts for a big part in speech intelligibility and is notoriously difficult to be acquired by L2 learners. The bulk of research on L2 intonation has focussed on the examination of learners’ intonational performance at the phonetic and phonological levels using perceptual and/or production tasks; however, empirical studies on whether and how intonation training can help improve learners’ performance are surprisingly scarce. This study fills this gap by devising instruction and training materials which were meticulously tailored for Chinese learners of English, the largest population of English learners in the world. The participants were 60 English-related majoring students from Newcastle University, most of whom wanted to become English teachers following their studies. They were pseudorandomly mapped into three groups according to their overall English proficiency. Two of the groups were taught explicitly on the forms and functions of English intonation but one selfpracticed auditorily on Audacity whereas the other audio-visually on Praat. The third group, which served as control, did not get any intonation training. Learners’ competence of intonation was assessed by a comprehension task before, immediately after, and two months after the three-week training course. Ten native speakers of Southern British English were recruited for the pre- and post-test to set a baseline for the analysis of learners’ performance. The results are: 1. Chinese EFL learners did significantly worse than native speakers in terms of understanding intonation meanings contrasted by accentuation, phrasing, and tone. 2. Learners’ comprehension ability was improved immediately after the training for all three aspects. 3. The training effect remain in the delayed post-test. 4. The audio-visual group did not perform significantly better than the auditory group. The results indicate that certain aspects of intonation are teachable and learnable, and tailor-made instruction and materials are effective and applicable in use. This study provides English teachers in China with novel ways to equip Chinese EFL learners with greater intonational competence.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis (Integrated)
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Chen Y 2020.pdfThesis15.03 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
dspacelicence.pdfLicence43.82 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.