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Thursday, August 13 • 1:00pm - 1:25pm
Pronunciation Teaching Using Automatic Speech Recognition

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Despite evidence showing the importance language learners place on pronunciation, recent studies point to numerous deficiencies in contemporary and non-technology based pronunciation curricula, materials, and methodologies (Hismanoglu and Hismanoglu, 2010). The success of computer assisted language learning (CALL) programs on learner development has inspired researchers to explore the possible positive outcomes of using computers to provide feedback for pronunciation. However, investigations into the use of automatic speech recognition technology (ASR) have privileged suprasegmentals or individual phonemes with little or no focus on indirect feedback based on overall intelligible speech (Cucchiarini, Neri, & Strik 2009, Ge, Sharma, & Smith 2013, Wang, Chen, Li & Meng 2012). Moreover, research on the possible benefits of indirect pronunciation feedback that ASR technologies provide to learners while completing real-world and communicative activities is lacking. In response to this gap in the research, this study explores students’ perceptions of the pedagogical implementation of ASR technology in teaching French pronunciation with a communicative and task-based approach. Specifically, this study examines introductory-level French students’ use of Google’s Dictation application and Search by Voice internet browsing, and Apple’s Siri, as each program provides speakers with indirect pronunciation feedback in the form of a textual representation of speech. In conjunction with the pronunciation activities in the course textbook, which focus on individual phonemes using minimal pairs, students in this study complete various communicative activities using a computer, iPad, or iPhone. Half of the participants use Google Dictation and Search by Voice and the other half use Siri to create and send voicemail messages and browse the internet for information on French celebrities and apartment rentals in Montreal. Data sources to be presented include student questionnaire responses regarding perceptions of the technology administered before and after their use as well as research journal entries completed by the teacher-researcher.


Adrion Dula

Wayne State University

Thursday August 13, 2015 1:00pm - 1:25pm EDT
Jefferson 256 17 Oxford St, Cambridge, MA