Auditory-Visual Speech Processing (AVSP'98)

December 4-6, 1998
Terrigal - Sydney, Australia

Repeating and Remembering Foreign Language Words: Does Seeing Help?

Chris Davis, Jeesun Kim

The University of Melbourne, (Australia)

Normal hearing people use lip-reading when listening conditions are not good [1]. Yet even when the listening environment is ideal, lip reading can help with a difficult signal such a listening to a foreign language [2]. These authors demonstrated that non-native French student's shadowing performance of French was improved by seeing the lips and mandible of the speaker. This observation suggests that learning the sounds of a foreign language may be aided by audio-visual presentation compared with audio alone. One recent example of such an application of the audio-visual approach has been in teaching a foreign alphabet by children [3]. The current experiment extended this approach by examining whether the mode of presentation affected the accuracy of repetitions of short phrases of a language participants had not heard before (Korean). Participants either heard a (five syllable) Korean phrase while watching the top part of face (no lips or jaw) or heard the phrase while watching the lips and jaw of the speaker. Three native speakers (blind to the presentation status of the participant) judged the accuracy of the participants' subsequent rendition of the phrase. The experiment also examined whether presentation mode affected performance on a subsequent old/new recognition task of the experimental phrases. The results are discussed in relation to the relative contribution of auditory and visual information in L2 acquisition in the immediate and longer term.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Davis, Chris / Kim, Jeesun (1998): "Repeating and remembering foreign language words: does seeing help?", In AVSP-1998, 121-126.