16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Perception and Production of Vowel Contrasts in German Learners of English

Helena Levy

Universität Freiburg, Germany

This paper discusses the relationship between the perception and the production of vowel contrasts in German learners of English. The underlying study investigates whether German subjects' ability to distinguish between the English front vowels /e/ and /æ/ on the level of production improved after training only perception. The main hypothesis was that perception training would improve production. One perception test and one production task were followed by a session of perception training during which the subjects did not speak. After the training, the two modalities were tested again. Results supported the hypothesis, maintaining that the production of the intended contrast improved after training. Perception, however, remained almost the same. Overall results suggest that training perception in an EFL (English as a foreign language) context may have positive effects on pronunciation.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Levy, Helena (2015): "Perception and production of vowel contrasts in German learners of English", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 796-800.