Evidence that L2 production training can enhance perception
Linebaugh, G & Roche, T 2015, 'Evidence that L2 production training can enhance perception', Journal of Academic Language & Learning, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. A1-A17.
It is often readily accepted that perception precedes production in second language acquisition. According to Flege’s (1995) Speech Learning Model and Broselow and Park’s (1995) Split Parameter Setting Hypothesis, accurate second language (L2) perception necessarily precedes accurate L2 production. This paper examines whether, contrary to that assumption, production can inform perception, whether training in the production of problematic L2 sounds can enhance perception of those sounds. Participants were 46 Arabic speaking learners of English and took part in a between-groups experiment. They were assigned to either an articulatory training or focused exposure condition for learning three problematic English contrasts: /æ, ʌ/, /ɜ, ɔ/ and /g, ʤ/. Performance on pre-, post- and post-post-condition perceptual discrimination tests was used to assess participants’ improvement in ability to perceptually discriminate the sounds after training in production or after focused aural exposure. Results point to the efficacy of the articulatory training, and thereby provide strong evidence that production can inform perception and that L2 acquisition can be facilitated through targeted training in articulation.