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Languages 2017, 2(3), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages2030011

Mobilizing Instruction in a Second-Language Context: Learners’ Perceptions of Two Speech Technologies

1
Département d'études françaises, Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
2
Department of Education, Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
3
French Language Centre, McGill University, Arts Building, Room 265. 853 Sherbrooke Street West, Montreal, QC H3A 0G5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Sonia Rocca and Bryan Smith
Received: 8 March 2017 / Revised: 3 July 2017 / Accepted: 10 July 2017 / Published: 17 July 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILizing Language Learning in the 21st Century)
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Abstract

We report the results of two empirical studies that investigated the use of mobile text-to-speech synthesizers (TTS) and automatic speech recognition (ASR) as tools to promote the development of pronunciation skills in L2 French. Specifically, the study examined learners’ perceptions of the pedagogical use of these tools in learning a French segment (the vowel /y/, as in tu ‘you’) and a suprasegmental feature (across-word resyllabification/liaison, observed in petit enfant ‘small child’), in a mobile-assisted context. Our results indicate that, when used in a “learn anytime anywhere” mobile setting, the participants believe that they have: (1) increased and enhanced access to input; and (2) multiple opportunities for speech output and (3) for the development of prediction skills. Interestingly, these findings meet the requirements for successful L2 learning, one that recommends the inclusion of pedagogical activities that promote exposure to input (Nation & Newton 2009), multiple opportunities for output (Swain 1995), and the development of prediction skills (Dickerson 2015) to foster learner autonomy and, consequently, to maximize classroom time by extending the reach of the classroom. Our findings also indicate that participants recognize the pedagogical importance of TTS and ASR, and enjoy the mobile-enhanced learning environment afforded by these two technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: text-to-speech synthesizers; automatic speech recognition; mobile learning; input; output; prediction; French pronunciation; learners’ perception text-to-speech synthesizers; automatic speech recognition; mobile learning; input; output; prediction; French pronunciation; learners’ perception
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Liakin, D.; Cardoso, W.; Liakina, N. Mobilizing Instruction in a Second-Language Context: Learners’ Perceptions of Two Speech Technologies. Languages 2017, 2, 11.

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