The effectiveness of computer assisted pronunciation training for foreign language learning by children
AbstractThis study investigates whether a computer assisted pronunciation training (CAPT) system can help young learners improve word-level pronunciation skills in English as a foreign language at a level comparable to that achieved through traditional teacher-led training. The pronunciation improvement of a group of learners of 11 years of age receiving teacher-fronted instruction was compared to that of a group receiving computer assisted pronunciation training by means of a system including an automatic speech recognition component. Results show that 1) pronunciation quality of isolated words improved significantly for both groups of subjects, and 2) both groups significantly improved in pronunciation quality of words that were considered particularly difficult to pronounce and that were likely to have been unknown to them prior to the training. Training with a computer-assisted pronunciation training system with a simple automatic speech recognition component can thus lead to short-term improvements in pronunciation that are comparable to those achieved by means of more traditional, teacher-led pronunciation training.