The acquisition of a novel phonetic category in a foreign language setting: Input versus phonological awareness




Pronunciation, Foreign Language, Input, Language Awareness, Phonological Awareness


Input-related factors are fundamental for the acquisition of new second language (L2) phones (e.g., Flege et al., 1995). Nonetheless, evidence from instructional settings suggests that, in foreign language contexts, input alone may not be sufficient for the formation of new phonetic categories. In the present study, we investigated to what extent the acquisition of a novel L2 phone (/ð/) is associated with input-related variables and phonological awareness. First language (L1) Brazilian Portuguese speakers of English answered a language background, a phonological self-awareness questionnaire, and completed a paragraph reading task and a phonological awareness test. The recordings were submitted to acoustic analysis and accuracy assessment by Brazilian teachers of English. Linear mixed-effects models revealed that perceived accuracy was predicted by input quality and phonological self-awareness, suggesting that greater interaction with L1 speakers of the target language and heightened phonological self-awareness play an important role in the acquisition of the tested L2 phone.

Biografia do Autor

Cesar Teló, University of Calgary

Cesar Teló is a master’s student in Applied Linguistics at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is broadly interested in second language speech, including how learners acquire and process individual sounds, how individual differences affect the learning process, how listeners react to second language speech, how speaking with a foreign accent impacts speakers’ lives, and how pronunciation can be taught and learned more effectively and critically.


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