Online Phonetic Training Improves L2 Word Recognition

AbstractHigh-Variability Phonetic Training (HVPT) has been shown to be effective in improving the perception of even the hardest second-language (L2) contrasts. However, little is known as to whether such training can improve phonological processing at the lexical level. The present study tested whether this type of training also improves word recognition. Adult proficient French late learners of English completed eight online sessions of HVPT on the perception of English word-initial /h/. This sound does not exist in French and has been shown to be difficult to process by French listeners both on the prelexical (Mah, Goad & Steinhauer, 2016) and the lexical level (Melnik & Peperkamp, 2019). In pretest and posttest participants completed an identification task as well as a lexical decision task. The results demonstrated that after training the learners’ accuracy had improved in both tasks. The theoretical and applied implications are discussed.

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