The effect of visual feedback on voice onset time productions by L2 learners of Spanish
Research suggests that pronunciation instruction should be developed and taught in the second language classroom (Derwing & Munro, 2005; Elliott, 1997; Simões, 1996) in order to facilitate intelligible and comprehensible utterances in the L2 (Derwing & Munro, 1997). Although accentedness does not always create intelligibility issues, it can be the catalyst to negative native speaker perceptions of second language learners’ speech (Derwing & Munro, 2009). One distinctive marker of accent among native speakers of English and Spanish is the duration of aspiration values for the voiceless plosives /p/ /t/ /k/ (Lord, 2005). The present study proposes the use of visual feedback treatments to aid native speakers of American English in producing more target-like realizations of /p/ /t/ /k/ in Spanish. Generalizability between treatments was also measured in order to observe whether or not second language learners can apply their knowledge to non-focus phonemes, as well as from words in a carrier phrase to various, longer types of speech. Results conclude that the Experimental group improved significantly in each elicitation task from the Pre-test to the Post-test. Responses to an attitudes survey also determine that participants favor a combination of explicit instruction and visual feedback. This study concludes that learners are able to generalize pronunciation knowledge of tokens in a carrier phrase to longer discourse, as well as from focus to non-focus phonemes.