ISCA International Workshop on Speech and Language Technology in Education (SLaTE 2009)

Wroxall Abbey Estate, Warwickshire, England
September 3-5, 2009

Training Novel Phonemic Contrasts: A Comparison of Identification and Oddity Discrimination Training

Zöe Handley (1), Mike Sharples (1), Dave Moore (2)

(1) Learning Sciences Research Institute, University of Nottingham, UK
(2) Medical Research Council (MRC) Institute of Hearing Research (IHR), Nottingham, UK

High Variability Pronunciation Training (HVPT) is a highly successful alternative to ASR-based pronunciation training. It has been demonstrated that HVPT is effective in teaching the perception of non-native phonemic contrasts, and that this skill generalizes to the perception of unfamiliar words and talkers, transfers to pronunciation, and is retained long-term. HVPT is, however, not efficient and hence not motivating for the learner. In this study, we therefore compare HVPT with an alternative, namely oddity discrimination training. This comparison, in which Mandarin-Chinese speakers were trained to pronounce the English /r/-/l/ phonemic contrast, provides preliminary evidence to support the use of discrimination tasks in addition to identification tasks to add variety to HVPT.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Handley, Zöe / Sharples, Mike / Moore, Dave (2009): "Training novel phonemic contrasts: a comparison of identification and oddity discrimination training", In SLaTE-2009, 121-124.