Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effectiveness of a Vowel-Targeted Intervention in Accent Modification
by Duewer, Natalie, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2015, 38; 1590362
Abstract (Summary)

Non-native speakers of English frequently produce vowels differently than native speakers of English, which can impact intelligibility. As a result, improving the accuracy of vowel production is a frequent goal of speech pathologists working to help non-native speakers improve the intelligibility of their spoken English. Research suggests that vowel-targeted intervention approaches have been effective with native speakers of English, but we know little about their effectiveness with non-native speakers of English. Even less is known about the effectiveness of incorporating visual feedback (e.g., spectrograms) in the instruction. In this study, a single-subject, multiple baseline across behaviors design, we evaluated the effectiveness of a vowel-targeted intervention with a non-native speaker of English using traditional articulation strategies combined with a visual feedback system. The participant was a native speaker of Farsi who had a number of vowels missing from his phonemic inventory. Three vowels were targeted in the study, and an additional untreated vowel served as a control. Accuracy of vowel production was assessed perceptually at baseline, during training, and in a follow-up session. In this multiple baseline design, the initiation of instruction of each vowel was staggered. Over the course of the study, the participant made significant improvement in the production of all trained vowels. The untrained control vowel remained unchanged. Results suggest that visual feedback, combined with traditional articulation training strategies, is effective in targeting vowels in a non-native speaker of English. Visual feedback programs, such as spectrograms, may be beneficial as part of a larger instructional program to target vowel production.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Brady, Kathryn
Commitee: King, Amie, Klopfenstein, Marie
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Special Education & Communication Disorders
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 54/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Speech therapy
Keywords: Accent modification, Accent reduction
Publication Number: 1590362
ISBN: 9781321796254
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