L1 Spanish speakers perception of English vowels produced by both L1 and L2 English speakers

Date
2017-04-11
Authors
Ambert Torres, Richard
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World Languages and Cultures
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World Languages and Cultures
Abstract

Vowel sounds are usually one of the biggest struggles adults face when learning a second language. The reason is that some languages like English have more vowel sounds than others; Spanish, in this case However, it may be possible that sharing the same native language could help people understand each other better when speaking the same L2. To test this hypothesis, it was examined through this study how L1 Spanish speakers perceive vowels spoken by other native Spanish speakers and native English speakers. The participants heard target words such as ‘bad’, ‘bed’, ‘bus’, ‘boss’, etc. and matched them to the corresponding written form. The control group was composed of native English speakers only. If a shared L1 background (Spanish) facilitates vowel identification, then L2 English speakers should be able to match the spoken form with the written form with close to 100% accuracy.

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