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Thursday, June 18 • 1:45pm - 2:45pm
RTD.32 - Ultrasound-integrated pronunciation tutorials

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The Japanese language program is the largest language programme at University of British Columbia with more than 1,500 students enrolled every year. It is also known to be the most diverse in terms of learners’ language backgrounds, with speakers of English, Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean from local, international students, and immigrant backgrounds. Although instructors are aware of the need for pronunciation education, time limitations and a lack of effective teaching and learning methods often prevent students from acquiring pronunciation efficiently. Since September 2014 we have adopted a flexible learning style by utilizing video tutorials in 100-level Japanese language courses. The tutorials, consisting of instructional and exercise videos and online quizzes, were developed through a collaborative project between the Japanese program and the Department of Linguistics. Ultrasound videos and animated diagrams were employed in order to display airflow, tongue position and movements within the mouth. Thus, the technique of ultrasound imaging for teaching L2 sounds (Gick et al., 2008) was adapted to an autonomous style of pronunciation learning, and the interference of L1 phonology (Toda, 2003) was explained without terminology. Prior to class, the students watched videos on the targeted sound(s); in class, they participated in a 10-minute small group activity including peer-review of the sound(s). To evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, three data sources were gathered: instructors’ observation, students’ feedback/reflection, and students’ pronunciation of the targeted sound(s). Overall, this approach increased students’ phonological awareness. Session participants will review the tutorials and discuss the value to them. 


Gick, B., Bernhardt, B., Bacsfalvi, P., & Wilson, I. (2008). Ultrasound imaging applications in second language acquisition. In J. G. H. Edwards and M. L. Zampini (eds.), Phonology and Second Language Acquisition (pp. 309-322). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins. 

Toda, T. (2003). Second Language Speech Perception and Production: Acquisition of Phonological Contrasts in Japanese. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

Thursday June 18, 2015 1:45pm - 2:45pm PDT
Bayshore Salon EF

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