An Acoustic Study of the Role of Consistency of Input in Acquisition of English Short Vowels in Pakistan
The study is aimed at observing the effect of consistency of input on the acquisition of English short vowels regarding jaw opening (correlated with F1), tongue fronting (correlated with F2) and Duration of vowels. The design of the study is quasi-experimental with a ‘pre-test-post-test control-group’ frame. The researcher took three intact class groups, at middle level from a public girls school, and assigned them to experimental groups and control group. Experimental Group A was consistently exposed to English RP based audios/videos for 60 consecutive days. Experimental Group B was inconsistently exposed to input in alternative days adding up to 30 days. Control group C was not given treatment of any kind. For data elicitation, the target short vowels were embedded into / ?v? / syllables in the carrier phrase ‘say --- please’ as a stimuli. Each phrase was recorded five times in pre-test and five times in post-test adding up to eighteen thousand tokens of English short vowels. For marking phonemic boundary of vowels in hvd syllable, the interval between vowel onset and offset was selected. FormantPro (Xu, 2013) software was run to obtain average values of F1, F2, and Duration of vowels of each participant on the basis of which average values of each group were calculated. The results of the data show that short vowels of group A are significantly affected by consistent exposure to RP vowels. No remarkable difference is found in the short vowels of group B and group C. This study gives a few recommendations related to administrative and pedagogical practices for ensuring consistency in teaching of L2 phonology.
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