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VOWEL DURATION IN SECOND LANGUAGE SPANISH VOWELS: STUDY ABROAD VERSUS AT-HOME LEARNERS

Abstract

This investigation addresses the question of whether immersion in a second language (L2) environment facilitates the acquisition of Spanish pronunciation, as measured in terms of vowel duration, by adult speakers of American English learning Spanish in a study abroad context. Acoustic analysis of recorded speech data found that, whereas study abroad learners showed improvement in their pronunciation of the Spanish vowels, learners studying "at home" in an American university setting did not. A variable rule analysis of the data identified certain factors that predicted phonological gains: For the at-home learners, these were prosodic stress and years of formal Spanish language instruction; for the study abroad learners, these were vowel phoneme, stress, exposure to Spanish television, and use of spoken English.

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Stevens, J. J., (2011) “VOWEL DURATION IN SECOND LANGUAGE SPANISH VOWELS: STUDY ABROAD VERSUS AT-HOME LEARNERS”, Journal of Second Language Acquisition and Teaching 18, p.77-103.

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John J. Stevens (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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