Blog Archives

Do you see what I’m saying? Lip-reading in a second language

Studies on speech perception have tended to focus on sound as the only cue. In speech sciences, we usually talk about phonemes in terms of sounds, and we think of the ‘speech signal’ as being acoustic, mainly. But sound isn’t

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Posted in Paper Summaries, Phonetics and Phonology

The Speech Learning Model

I promised a few weeks ago that I’d write about Jim Flege’s Speech Learning Model next. Dutifully, I read his chapter in Winifred Strange’s Speech Perception and Linguistic Experience, made notes in the margin, carried the paper around with me

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology

The Perceptual Assimilation Model

Recently I started a doctoral course at Sophia, and so far it’s been really great. I’m doing everything that I want to be doing, the other students in the lab are wonderful people, and Arai-sensei has been good at giving

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Posted in Paper Summaries, Phonetics and Phonology

What is ‘fluency’? What does it mean to be ‘fluent’?

If you’ve ever learned another language to a reasonably high level, you’ve probably had people ask you if you’re ‘fluent’. Probably half of the conversations I have with new acquaintances take this form: New Friend: How long have you been

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Posted in SLA, Teaching Tips

Computerized listening training: a sneak peak at my MA thesis

On campuses all over the world, universities spend millions on setting up Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) rooms. At Sophia, there’s a whole floor dedicated to them. As a computer nerd and language teacher, I should be excited about this,

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Posted in Phonetics and Phonology, Research

Hot Button Issue: using students’ native language in the classroom

Everyone knows that full immersion is the absolute best way to learn a language, right? Ideally, we all want to learn a language the way native speakers learn it, so that our own language doesn’t conflict with our new language.

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Posted in SLA, Teaching Tips

How to Teach Pronunciation

How do you teach pronunciation to students learning another language? This is basically the question I’m trying to answer at grad school now. It turns out that there isn’t any one solid, evidence-based approach to doing so, but I mean

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Posted in Teaching Tips