Nonnative Speech Perception Training Using Vowel Subsets: Effects of Vowels in Sets and Order of Training Purpose K. Nishi and D. Kewley-Port (2007)  trained Japanese listeners to perceive 9 American English monophthongs and showed that a protocol using all 9 vowels (fullset) produced better results than the one using only the 3 more difficult vowels (subset). The present study extended the target population to Koreans and ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 2008
Nonnative Speech Perception Training Using Vowel Subsets: Effects of Vowels in Sets and Order of Training
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kanae Nishi
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Diane Kewley-Port
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Contact author: Kanae Nishi, who is now at Boys Town National Research Hospital, 555 North 30th Street, Omaha, NE 68131. E-mail: nishik@boystown.org.
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 2008
Nonnative Speech Perception Training Using Vowel Subsets: Effects of Vowels in Sets and Order of Training
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1480-1493. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0109)
History: Received May 22, 2007 , Accepted March 19, 2008
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2008, Vol. 51, 1480-1493. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2008/07-0109)
History: Received May 22, 2007; Accepted March 19, 2008
Web of Science® Times Cited: 12

Purpose K. Nishi and D. Kewley-Port (2007)  trained Japanese listeners to perceive 9 American English monophthongs and showed that a protocol using all 9 vowels (fullset) produced better results than the one using only the 3 more difficult vowels (subset). The present study extended the target population to Koreans and examined whether protocols combining the 2 vowel sets would provide more effective training.

Method Three groups of 5 Korean listeners were trained on American English vowels for 9 days using one of the 3 protocols: fullset only, first 3 days on subset then 6 days on fullset, or first 6 days on fullset then 3 days on subset. Participants' performance was assessed by pre- and posttraining tests, as well as by a midtraining test.

Results (a) Fullset training was effective for Koreans as well as Japanese, (b) no advantage was found for the 2 combined protocols over the fullset-only protocol, and (c) sustained “nonimprovement” was observed for training using one of the combined protocols.

Conclusions In using subsets for training on American English vowels, care should be taken not only in the selection of subset vowels but also in the training orders of subsets.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) postdoctoral fellowship Grant F32 DC-006313 to the first author and NIH Research Grant R01 DC-02229 to the second author. Manuscript preparation was supported in part by an NIH research grant to Patricia G. Stelmachowicz (R01 DC-04300). A portion of this article was presented at the 150th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2005. William B. Mills wrote the training program used here. James J. Jenkins and Winifred Strange made significant contribution to the development of the initial research design. The comments and consultation with Charles S. Watson and James D. Miller regarding the interactive feedback system were invaluable. We thank Jae Hee Lee for translating consent forms and instructions into Korean.
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