Using synchronous speech to facilitate acquisition of English rhythm: A small-scale study
Keywords:SPOKEN ENGLISH, PRONUNCIATION TEACHING, ENGLISH RHYTHM, SYNCHRONOUS SPEECH, RHYTHM INSTRUCTION
While appropriate stress and rhythm is of importance for any speaker’s intelligibility, such properties are critical for international teaching assistants (ITA), who deliver new and complex information to native speaker audiences. Given the limited time available for ITA instruction and the need for a time-efficient rhythm teaching method, this article reports findings of a small-scale feasibility study that tested the effectiveness of a synchronous speech component introduced into conventional rhythm instruction. Synchronous speech involves teacher and learner speaking in unison continuously, which allows the L2 learner to learn rhythm implicitly and uninterruptedly, and provides rich auditory-visual input, ample motor speech practice and real-time feedback, thereby automatizing rhythm patterns. In a 6-week-long pre-post experimental feasibility study, blind listeners evaluated pre- training and post-training recordings of ITA-produced speech. Data revealed a trend towards more improvement in L2 rhythm working with the synchronous speech technique. Results establish feasibility in both instruction and research.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Elina Banzina
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.