12th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Florence, Italy
August 27-31. 2011

Validating a Second Language Perception Model for Classroom Context - A Longitudinal Study within the Perceptual Assimilation Model

Bianca Sisinni, Mirko Grimaldi

Università del Salento, Italy

The present study verified whether adult listeners retain the ability to improve non-native speech perception and if it can be significantly enhanced in the formal context, a very impoverished context with respect to the natural one. We tested (i) whether perceptual learning is possible for adults in a classroom context during focused phonetic lessons, and (ii) whether it follows the pattern predicted for natural acquisition by the PAM-L2 [1]. The results showed that adult listeners are still able to improve foreign sound perception and this ability seems to occur also in formal contexts in line with the PAM-L2 predictions.


  1. Best, C. T., Tyler, M. D., “Nonnative and second language speech perception: Commonalities and complementarities”, In M.J. Munro & O.-S. Bohn [Eds], Second Language speech learning: the role of language experience in speech perception and production, 13-34, Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2007.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Sisinni, Bianca / Grimaldi, Mirko (2011): "Validating a second language perception model for classroom context - a longitudinal study within the perceptual assimilation model", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 869-872.