Developing an instrument to study the impact of functional load on the perception of spoken English

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Developing an instrument to study the impact of functional load on the perception of spoken English

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2014-08-05

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A common challenge ESL instructors are faced with today is the prospect of having to teach to students of multiple language backgrounds. There is a need to establish some principles in looking at L2 speech perception in order to guide teachers in their curricular selections. One approach for pronunciation instructors looking to help their L2 learners to become effective communicators is to concentrate first on those aspects of L2 phonology that most affect intelligibility and comprehensibility. Functional Load theory is something instructors can easily use in the classroom for identifying learners’ intelligibility issues with segmental features. The testing of perception of segmental features is a useful way to offer focus and development for pronunciation instruction. Because not every instructor has time to dedicate to developing assessments of segmental speech perception, herein is proposed an instrument that can be used by instructors to study and identify some key issues in speech perception as they relate to high and low functional load (FL) errors. The principle of Functional Load has become useful for choosing what segments should be included in speech perception analysis and training.

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1 online resource (PDF, 40 pages). Submitted January, 2011 as a Plan B paper in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a master's degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Minnesota.

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Gosselin, Karen Marie. (2014). Developing an instrument to study the impact of functional load on the perception of spoken English. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/164483.

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