The Effect Of Awareness Of Moraic Structure On Native English Speakers' Listening Comprehension Of Japanese-english Speakers
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The main aim of the series of three experiments presented here was to find interventions to reduce miscommunication between native and non-native English speakers. Thirty four Standard English (SE) speakers in Experiment 1, twelve SE speakers in Experiment 2, and one hundred and thirty one SE speakers in Experiment 3 were recruited from the Psychology Participant Pool at the University of Texas, Arlington. Experiments 1 and 3 served (1) to analyze the effect of differences in phonetic rhythm between Japanese and SE language on SE speakers' listening comprehension of Japanese-accented English; (2) to analyze the effect of training types on a mora test (Japanese segmentation of spoken words); (3) to explore the relationships among demographics, self-reported listening test performance, evaluations of the speaker, listening response times, and listening test performances; and (4) to explore correlations among accuracy, response time, accessibility index, and frequency index of each word. Experiment 2 was conducted to examine SE speakers' listening comprehension of another SE speaker, and to pilot Experiment 3. General procedures started with obtaining informed consent and instructing participants to respond to a demographic survey and questions dealing with exposure to Japanese culture. Participants were then randomly assigned to different training conditions. After the training, participants received a mora test followed by listening comprehension tests in randomized order. A self-report scale of listening comprehension and an evaluation scale were measured after each listening test. Results from Experiments 1 and 3 suggested that it was important for Japanese-English speakers to make the right syllabification when they speak words to reduce miscommunication. Although mora training enhanced native English speakers' understanding of a Japanese accent, it did not improve the listening comprehension of Japanese-accented English. This indicated that there was a gap between understanding a foreign accent and using that information to improve the listening comprehension of accented English. In item level analyses, faster responded words tended to be more accurately responded, and more accessible words were responded faster. Application of these findings to enhance cross-linguistic communication was discussed.