The effectiveness of focused attention on pronunciation and intonation training in tertiary Japanese language education on learners' confidence: Preliminary report on training workshops and a supplementary computer program

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Abstract

This is a preliminary report of a study pertaining to the effectiveness of specific training in pronunciation and intonation for students studying Japanese as a foreign language at university. The study involved weekly sessions across a 1 month period for volunteer participants interested in improving their pronunciation. Each session was conducted workshop-style in a small group headed by a native speaking instructor. Two groups of students were involved. Only one group was provided with a supplementary 'pronunciation-check' computer program. The study focused on those specific aspects of Japanese pronunciation and intonation considered especially problematic for native English and Chinese speakers. Surveys were conducted to explore the participants' self-evaluation of their improvement in pronunciation and intonation, and their perception and awareness of Japanese pronunciation and intonation in general. In addition, supplementary data was collected from recordings of all participants, both at the beginning and conclusion of the workshop program, in order to assess their degree of improvement in pronunciation and intonation. This paper discusses the data collected from this preliminary study and provides suggestions for potential usefulness of similar exercises in Japanese language classroom instruction.

LanguageEnglish
Pages181-192
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Volume18
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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language education
data processing program
confidence
foreign language
small group
recording
speaking
instructor
Group
student
instruction
classroom
university
language
evaluation

Bibliographical note

Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in International journal of learning, Vol. 18(4), 181-192. This version archived on behalf of the author/s and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.

Cite this

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title = "The effectiveness of focused attention on pronunciation and intonation training in tertiary Japanese language education on learners' confidence: Preliminary report on training workshops and a supplementary computer program",
abstract = "This is a preliminary report of a study pertaining to the effectiveness of specific training in pronunciation and intonation for students studying Japanese as a foreign language at university. The study involved weekly sessions across a 1 month period for volunteer participants interested in improving their pronunciation. Each session was conducted workshop-style in a small group headed by a native speaking instructor. Two groups of students were involved. Only one group was provided with a supplementary 'pronunciation-check' computer program. The study focused on those specific aspects of Japanese pronunciation and intonation considered especially problematic for native English and Chinese speakers. Surveys were conducted to explore the participants' self-evaluation of their improvement in pronunciation and intonation, and their perception and awareness of Japanese pronunciation and intonation in general. In addition, supplementary data was collected from recordings of all participants, both at the beginning and conclusion of the workshop program, in order to assess their degree of improvement in pronunciation and intonation. This paper discusses the data collected from this preliminary study and provides suggestions for potential usefulness of similar exercises in Japanese language classroom instruction.",
author = "Kayo Nakazawa",
note = "Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in International journal of learning, Vol. 18(4), 181-192. This version archived on behalf of the author/s and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.",
year = "2012",
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N1 - Copyright Common Ground and The Author/s. Article originally published in International journal of learning, Vol. 18(4), 181-192. This version archived on behalf of the author/s and is available for individual, non-commercial use. Permission must be sought from the publisher to republish or reproduce or for any other purpose.

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N2 - This is a preliminary report of a study pertaining to the effectiveness of specific training in pronunciation and intonation for students studying Japanese as a foreign language at university. The study involved weekly sessions across a 1 month period for volunteer participants interested in improving their pronunciation. Each session was conducted workshop-style in a small group headed by a native speaking instructor. Two groups of students were involved. Only one group was provided with a supplementary 'pronunciation-check' computer program. The study focused on those specific aspects of Japanese pronunciation and intonation considered especially problematic for native English and Chinese speakers. Surveys were conducted to explore the participants' self-evaluation of their improvement in pronunciation and intonation, and their perception and awareness of Japanese pronunciation and intonation in general. In addition, supplementary data was collected from recordings of all participants, both at the beginning and conclusion of the workshop program, in order to assess their degree of improvement in pronunciation and intonation. This paper discusses the data collected from this preliminary study and provides suggestions for potential usefulness of similar exercises in Japanese language classroom instruction.

AB - This is a preliminary report of a study pertaining to the effectiveness of specific training in pronunciation and intonation for students studying Japanese as a foreign language at university. The study involved weekly sessions across a 1 month period for volunteer participants interested in improving their pronunciation. Each session was conducted workshop-style in a small group headed by a native speaking instructor. Two groups of students were involved. Only one group was provided with a supplementary 'pronunciation-check' computer program. The study focused on those specific aspects of Japanese pronunciation and intonation considered especially problematic for native English and Chinese speakers. Surveys were conducted to explore the participants' self-evaluation of their improvement in pronunciation and intonation, and their perception and awareness of Japanese pronunciation and intonation in general. In addition, supplementary data was collected from recordings of all participants, both at the beginning and conclusion of the workshop program, in order to assess their degree of improvement in pronunciation and intonation. This paper discusses the data collected from this preliminary study and provides suggestions for potential usefulness of similar exercises in Japanese language classroom instruction.

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