2019 Student Research Conference:
32nd Annual Student Research Conference

How Second Language Learners Vowels are Influenced by Their First Language

Julie A. Mickael
Dr. Douglas Ball, Faculty Mentor

A barrier when learning a second language (L2) involves the production of vowel sounds. Many models posit that a speaker’s pronunciation in their first language (L1), plus mental categories formed during acquisition, affect the pronunciation of vowels in the L2. This relationship should be measurable by graphing the vowel frequencies of baseline native English speakers versus the English vowels of native French learners should give results that confirm that the French speaker’s L1 (French) interfered with the production of vowels in their L2 (English). The results showed that the French speakers produced English vowels similar to their French counterparts using their French vowel categories, while they also produced new English vowels using a vowel category similar to native English speakers. These results indicate a clear interference from a speaker’s L1 on the vowels of their L2, which could have implications for language acquisition and teaching L2 pronunciation as a whole.

Keywords: second language acquisition, pronunciation, vowel categorization, accent, language learning, interference


Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 1-2
Location: SUB GEO
Time: 3:00

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