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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2022, 5(6); doi: 10.25236/FER.2022.050613.

Modified Input Training and Cue Reweighting in Second Language Vowel Perception


Qin Yuan1,2, John Archibald2

Corresponding Author:
Qin Yuan

1Center for Applied Language and Cultural Studies, University of Sanya, Sanya, China

2Department of Linguistics, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada


Many studies have shown that the High Variability Phonetic Training method can help L2 learners acquire nonnative phoneme contrasts. However, few studies have explored how this paradigm can work using modified input. We investigate L1 Mandarin learners of English as a foreign language and their perception of the tense/lax [i]/[ɪ] contrast. Mandarin learners rely on durational (rather than spectral) cues to distinguish these L2 vowels. In an ABX discrimination task, the experimental group was trained using both natural and synthesized stimuli whose vowels had been systematically lengthened or shortened thus removing the reliability of the durational cue. The control group was trained using natural stimuli only. The pre- and post-tests were identification tasks. An ANCOVA comparing the pre- and post-test identification accuracy revealed that the experimental group improved significantly more than the control group. The modified durational input allows participants to re-weight their processing cues and attend to spectral differences.


pronunciation; L2 phonology; perception; vowel contrasts; EFL; high variability phonetic training; cue re-weighting

Cite This Paper

Qin Yuan, John Archibald. Modified Input Training and Cue Reweighting in Second Language Vowel Perception. Frontiers in Educational Research (2022) Vol. 5, Issue 6: 65-75. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2022.050613.


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