About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6535-6541
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VOWEL GAME IN LEARNING FOREIGN VOWEL PRONUNCIATION

Learning pronunciation in a foreign language can be difficult and is often an underestimated field in language teaching. A pronunciation learner always needs feedback, which is typically auditory in natural environments. Already in the 1970s James discovered that automatic visual feedback enhances the learning process of pronunciation. Many aspects of spoken language have been visualized since then. The prosodic features of speech have been researched and visualized in several studies. At the lower level, the different phones can also be analyzed by different means. Witt and Young visualized how close the learner is able to reach the native phones. Their software does not advise how to improve phonation. Instead the RAVE technology provided more informative feedback. Using resonance measurements, the pronounced vowels were plotted into a vowel space in real time. The resonances are near to the formants, which were used in the research of Kim and Sung and in a few other studies. The learning results were clearly improved by the visual feedback, especially in the studies involving the RAVE technology.

Those results encouraged us to develop our own tool, The Vowel Game. Its usage doesn’t require any special equipment except basic microphone and it provides real time visual feedback in the continuous formant space to enhance vowel pronunciation. The game directly indicates how the learner should change the vocal tract configuration. In this paper we present our preliminary results in using The Vowel Game as a tool to provide real-time visual feedback of vowel pronunciation. In our experiments, young Finnish adults were taught to pronounce the Finland Swedish vowel /ʉ/. This vowel is not a part of the Finnish vowel space and is not easily perceived or produced by Finnish speakers.

The Vowel Game, a visualization tool providing continuous real time feedback, was examined with 10 Finnish participants and the results were compared to a control group of 10 Finnish participants. The main research question was whether the tool enhances the participants’ pronunciation learning or not. The participants attempted to learn the Finland Swedish vowel /ʉ/. We concluded that the treatment group outperformed the control group. This preliminary research encourages us to assess that The Vowel Game enhances the learning process of foreign vowels’ pronunciation.
@InProceedings{WALLASVAARA2015EFF,
author = {Wallasvaara, M. and Paganus, A. and Savela, J. and Laakso, M.J. and Salakoski, T.},
title = {EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VOWEL GAME IN LEARNING FOREIGN VOWEL PRONUNCIATION},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6535-6541}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Wallasvaara AU - A. Paganus AU - J. Savela AU - M.J. Laakso AU - T. Salakoski
TI - EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VOWEL GAME IN LEARNING FOREIGN VOWEL PRONUNCIATION
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 6535
EP - 6541
ER -
M. Wallasvaara, A. Paganus, J. Savela, M.J. Laakso, T. Salakoski (2015) EFFECTIVENESS OF THE VOWEL GAME IN LEARNING FOREIGN VOWEL PRONUNCIATION, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 6535-6541.
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