The SLAT doctoral program is an interdisciplinary program with 79 faculty members located in 17 collaborating departments. The program is designed to provide rigorous advanced training for researchers, teachers, and administrators concerned with second language learning and teaching. The SLAT Program has been recognized nationally as a superior interdisciplinary program. Several of our participating departments have been ranked in the top ten in the country, including Anthropology, East Asian Studies, Linguistics, and Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences.
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The next SLAT Colloquium will take place on Friday February 21, 1:30-2:30 in Education 333, our regular room. It will feature Dr.Thorsten Piske. Dr. Piske is the department chair of second language learning and teaching at the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany! He will be speaking on Individual differences in L2 speech perception and production. An abstract follows!
Individual differences in L2 speech perception and production
Since the late 1960s, a large number of experimental studies comparing different groups of learners have examined subject and phonetic variables influencing the perception and production of L2 speech. Variables that have repeatedly been found to significantly affect L2 speech learning include a) the age of first extensive exposure to the L2, which has often been indexed by immigrants' age of arrival in an L2-speaking country, b) L1 background, i.e., the phonetic/phonological characteristics of learners’ first or native language(s), c) training in the perception and production of L2 speech and d) variables that are probably associated with quantity and quality of L2 input, such as length of residence and amount of L1 and L2 use (e.g., Piske et al. 2001). A closer look at the results obtained for individual L2 learners in studies examining L2 speech learning reveals that each of these variables may be of different importance for different individuals, because in each study a few individual learners do usually not perform in a way that would be expected based on group results (see, e.g., Piske 2012).
We hope to see you there!
In this talk, the results obtained for individual L2 learners in different studies examining the perception and production of L2 speech will be reported and related to group results. On the whole, the findings that will be reported suggest that individual differences may often be due to psychosocial factors and to biographical details such as a learner’s profession, educational background etc. These details are usually not reported in studies focusing on the comparison of different groups of learners but they may help to explain why some L2 learners are highly successful in learning to pronounce and perceive an L2 well whereas other learners are less successful. Possible implications of the results of L2 speech research for the foreign language classroom will also be discussed in this talk.
For Fall 2013 colloquium schedule, please visit SLAT Colloquium page.
If you would like to access resources made available from current or previous colloquia, visit our Colloquium Resources page.
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