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The effects of self-monitoring strategy use on the pronunciation of learners of English

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Title: The effects of self-monitoring strategy use on the pronunciation of learners of English
Author(s): Ingels, Sue A.
Director of Research: Dickerson, Wayne
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Cziko, Gary
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Dickerson, Wayne; Bowles, Melissa; Hahn, Laura
Department / Program: Educational Psychology
Discipline: Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): English pronunciation language learner strategies L2 suprasegmentals international teaching assistants second language acquisition L2 phonological acquisition transcription rehearsal self-monitoring pronunciation pedagogy Second Language (L2)
Abstract: Language learning strategy (LLS) research has provided a large body of evidence for the effectiveness of strategy-based instruction (SBI), though the evidence is very limited for pronunciation strategy instruction. For both general and pronunciation LLSs, most research has focused on identifying the strategies used by successful learners. When strategy instruction has been investigated, in most cases the strategies that were taught were not directly linked to specific tasks, learners were not observed using the strategies, and measures of strategy effectiveness often were holistic and did not reveal improvements in specific pronunciation features. The goal of this study was to extend our understanding of the role of strategy use in L2 (second language) pronunciation learning by investigating the effectiveness of training future international teaching assistants (ITAs) to critically listen to, transcribe, mark corrections (annotate), and orally rehearse English suprasegmental features in their own speech. The suprasegmental features investigated were message unit boundaries, primary phrase stress, intonation, vowel reduction in content and function words, linking, word stress, and multiword construction stress. Fifteen graduate-level learners of English (14 Mandarin speakers, 1 Korean speaker) from an intact English as a Second Language (ESL) pronunciation class at a Midwestern university were solicited to participate in a repeated-measures design, in which the independent variables were 3 levels of self-monitoring (listening only [L], listening + transcription [LT], and listening + transcription + annotation [LTA]) and rehearsal (R). The strategies were examined in the following combinations: LR-LR-LR, LT-RRR, and LTA-RRR. The dependent variable was the change in suprasegmental accuracy following self-monitoring and rehearsal. Speech data resulting from strategy use were gathered at the beginning and end of a 16-week semester in order to determine the extent to which strategy use corresponded to improved suprasegmental accuracy. Key findings include the following: (a)All participants made meaningful improvements in suprasegmental accuracy for at least some of the targets following self-monitoring; (b) the LT-RRR combination was most effective for lower proficiency learners and LTA-RRR was most effective for higher proficiency learners; (c) starting proficiency and size of accuracy gains following self-monitoring were negatively correlated; (d) self-monitoring had differential effects on accuracy for the suprasegmental features, with message units, linking, and function words showing the greatest improvement;(e) and observation of individual task performance provided useful insights into how effectively adult L2 learners utilize self-monitoring strategies. Implications for language teaching and learning, limitations of the study, and future research opportunities are explored.
Issue Date: 2011-08-25
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/26259
Rights Information: Copyright © 2011 Sue Ann Ingels
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-08-25
Date Deposited: 2011-08
 

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