Perception of native English reduced forms in Chinese learners: Its role in listening comprehension and its phonological correlates

Wai Lap Simpson WONG, Peggy Pik Ki MOK, Kevin Kien Hoa CHUNG, Wing Hei Vina LEUNG, Dorothy V. M. BISHOP, Bonnie Wing-Yin CHOW

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that learners of English as a second language have difficulties in understanding connected speech spoken by native English speakers. This study examines the role of the perception of reduced forms (e.g., contraction, elision, assimilation) of English words in connected speech comprehension and the phonological skills underpinning reduced forms perception. Sixty Chinese-speaking undergraduate students were tested with a battery of listening and phonological tasks in English. Results of regression analyses show that receptive vocabulary and perception of reduced forms contributed unique variance to listening comprehension for native English. Moreover, results further show that part-word recognition in a speech gating task and receptive vocabulary predicted perception of reduced forms via a direct pathway, whereas phonemic awareness and phonological memory predicted perception of reduced forms via an indirect pathway (through part-word recognition). These results have implications for the phonological skills that are fundamental to the acquisition of reduced pronunciation variants and the importance of systematic training of reduced forms perception in second language education. Copyright © 2015 TESOL International Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-31
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Volume51
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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listening comprehension
vocabulary
language education
assimilation
speaking
comprehension
regression
language
student

Citation

Wong, S. W. L., Mok, P. P. K., Chung, K. K.-H., Leung, V. W. H., Bishop, D. V. M., & Chow, B. W.-Y. (2017). Perception of native English reduced forms in Chinese learners: Its role in listening comprehension and its phonological correlates. TESOL Quarterly, 51(1), 7-31.