Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-7ccbd9845f-wr4x4 Total loading time: 0.477 Render date: 2023-01-31T01:41:34.602Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Developing second language oral ability in foreign language classrooms: The role of the length and focus of instruction and individual differences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 July 2015

KAZUYA SAITO*
Affiliation:
Birkbeck, University of London
KEIKO HANZAWA
Affiliation:
Waseda University
*
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Kazuya Saito, Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck College, University of London, 30 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DT, UK. E-mail: k.saito@bbk.ac.uk

Abstract

The current study aimed to examine how instruction can impact the global, segmental, prosodic, and temporal qualities of second language (L2) oral ability in foreign language (FL) settings (i.e., a few hours of target language input per week). Spontaneous speech was elicited via a timed picture description task from 56 Japanese freshman college students who had studied English through FL instruction from Grades 7 to 12 without any experience abroad. The tokens were rated for global accentedness and then submitted to segmental, prosodic, and temporal analyses. According to statistical analyses, (a) the participants' oral performance widely varied in relation to the length and focus of FL instruction, the frequency of their conversations in the L2, and aptitude; and (b) their diverse proficiency levels were predicted in particular by the amount of extra FL activities inside (i.e., pronunciation training) and outside (i.e., cram school) of high school (but not junior high) classrooms. The results in turn suggest that whereas extensive FL instruction (>875 hr) itself does make some difference in L2 oral ability development, its pedagogical potential can be increased by how students optimize their most immediate FL experience beyond the regular syllabus.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

Abrahamsson, N., & Hyltenstam, K. (2009). Age of acquisition and nativelikeness in a second language-listener perception vs. linguistic scrutiny. Language Learning, 59, 249306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Asher, J. J. (1969). The total physical response approach to second language learning. Modern Language Journal, 53, 317.Google Scholar
Best, C., & Tyler, M. (2007). Nonnative and second-language speech perception. In Bohn, O. & Munro, M. (Eds.), Language experience in second language speech learning: In honour of James Emil Flege (pp. 1334). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bosker, H. R., Pinget, A.-F., Quené, H., Sanders, T., & De Jong, N. H. (2013). What makes speech sound fluent? The contributions of pauses, speed and repairs. Language Testing, 30, 159175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carroll, J. B., & Sapon, S. M. (1959). Modern Language Aptitude Test. Washington, DC: Second Language Testing.Google Scholar
Cook, V. (Ed.) (2002). Portraits of the L2 user (Vol. 1). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Crowther, D., Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., & Saito, K. (2015). Does a speaking task affect second language comprehensibility? Modern Language Journal, 99, 8095.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
De Jong, N. H., Steinel, M. P., Florijn, A. F., Schoonen, R., & Hulstijn, J. H. (2012). Facets of speaking proficiency. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34, 534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. (Ed.) (2007). Practice in a second language: Perspectives from applied linguistics and cognitive psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeKeyser, R. M. (2013). Age effects in second language learning: Stepping stones toward better understanding. Language Learning, 63, 5267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2009). Putting accent in its place: Rethinking obstacles to communication. Language Teaching, 42, 476490.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Derwing, T. M., & Munro, M. J. (2013). The development of L2 oral language skills in two L1 groups: A seven-year study. Language Learning, 63, 163185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Derwing, T. M., Rossiter, M. J., Munro, M. J., & Thomson, R. I. (2004). L2 fluency: Judgments on different tasks. Language Learning, 54, 655679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dörnyei, Z. (1994). Motivation and motivating in the foreign language classroom. Modern Language Journal, 78, 273284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Doughty, C. (2003). Instructed SLA: Constraints, compensation, and enhancement. In Long, M. & Doughty, C. (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 257310). Malden, MA: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, N. C. (2006). Language acquisition as rational contingency learning. Applied Linguistics, 27, 124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ellis, R. (2005). Measuring implicit and explicit knowledge of a second language: A psychometric study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27, 141172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Field, J. (2005). Intelligibility and the listener: The role of lexical stress. TESOL Quarterly, 39, 399423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flege, J. E. (2009). Give input a chance! In Piske, T. & Young-Scholten, M. (Eds.), Input matters in SLA (pp. 175190). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Flege, J., & Liu, S. (2001). The effect of experience on adults' acquisition of a second language. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 23, 527552.Google Scholar
Flege, J., Munro, M., & MacKay, I. R. A. (1995 ). Factors affecting degree of perceived foreign accent in a second language. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 97, 31253134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gatbonton, E., & Segalowitz, N. (2005). Rethinking the communicative approach: A focus on accuracy and fluency. Canadian Modern Language Review, 61, 325353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Granena, G. (2013). Individual differences in sequence learning ability and second language acquisition in early childhood and adulthood. Language Learning, 63, 665703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hahn, L. (2004). Primary stress and intelligibility: Research to motivate the teaching of suprasegmentals. TESOL Quarterly, 38, 201223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Isaacs, T., & Thomson, R. I. (2013). Rater experience, rating scale length, and judgments of L2 pronunciation: Revisiting research conventions. Language Assessment Quarterly, 10, 135159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jia, G., & Aaronson, D. (2003). A longitudinal study of Chinese children and adolescents learning English in the United States. Applied Psycholinguistics, 24, 131161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jiang, N. (2007). Selective integration of linguistic knowledge in adult second language acquisition. Language Learning, 57, 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kimura, Y., Nakata, Y., & Okumura, T. (2001). Language learning motivation of EFL learners in Japan—A cross-sectional analysis of various learning milieus. Japan Association for Language Teaching Journal, 23, 4768.Google Scholar
Kozaki, Y., & Ross, S. J. (2011 ). Contextual dynamics in foreign language learning motivation. Language Learning, 61, 13281354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Krashen, S. D. (2013). The effect of direct instruction on pronunciation: Only evident when conditions for monitor use are met? GIST Education and Learning Research Journal, 7, 271275.Google Scholar
Larson-Hall, J. (2008). Weighing the benefits of studying a foreign language at a younger starting age in a minimal input situation. Second Language Research, 24, 3563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larson-Hall, J. (2010). A guide to doing statistics in second language research using SPSS. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Levis, J. (2005). Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 39, 367377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lightbown, P. M. (1983). Acquiring English L2 in Quebec classrooms. In Felix, S. W. & Wode, H. (Eds.), Language development at the crossroads (pp. 101120). Tübingen: Gunter Narr.Google Scholar
Llanes, À., & Muñoz, C. (2013) Age effects in a study abroad context: Children and adults studying abroad and at home. Language Learning, 63, 6390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Long, M. H. (2007). Problems in SLA. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Lyster, R. (2007). Learning and teaching languages through content: A counterbalanced approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Meara, P. (2005). LLAMA language aptitude tests: The manual. Swansea: Lognostics.Google Scholar
Moyer, A. (1999). Ultimate attainment in L2 phonology: The critical factors of age motivation and instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21, 81108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, C. (2006). The effects of age on foreign language learning: The BAF Project. In Muñoz, C. (Ed.), Age and the rate of foreign language learning (pp. 140). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Muñoz, C. (2008). Symmetries and asymmetries of age effects in naturalistic and instructed L2 learning. Applied Linguistics, 24, 578596.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, C. (2014). Contrasting effects of starting age and input on the oral performance of foreign language learners. Applied Linguistics, 35, 463482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, C., & Llanes, À. (2014). Study abroad and changes in degree of foreign accent in children and adults. Modern Language Journal, 98, 432449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, C., & Singleton, D. (2011 ). A critical review of age-related research on L2 ultimate attainment. Language Teaching, 44, 135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, J., & Ortega, L. (2000 ). Effectiveness of L2 instruction: A research synthesis and quantitative meta-analysis. Language Learning, 50, 417528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding second language acquisition. London: Hodder Education.Google Scholar
Oyama, S. (1976). A sensitive period for the acquisition of a nonnative phonological system. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 5, 261283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pimsleur, P. (1966). Pimsleur language aptitude battery. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar
Piske, T., Flege, J., MacKay, I., & Meador, D. (2011 ). Investigating native and non-native vowels produced in conversational speech. In Wrembel, M., Kul, M., & Dziubalska-Kołaczyk, K. (Eds.), Achievements and perspectives in the acquisition of second language speech: New Sounds 2010 (pp. 195205). Geneva: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Piske, T., MacKay, I., & Flege, J. (2001). Factors affecting degree of foreign accents in an L2: A review. Journal of Phonetics, 29, 191215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ranta, L., & Meckelborg, A. (2013). How much exposure to English do international graduate students really get? Measuring language use in a naturalistic setting. Canadian Modern Language Review, 69, 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K. (2012). Effects of instruction on L2 pronunciation development: A synthesis of 15 quasi-experimental intervention studies. TESOL Quarterly, 46, 842854.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K. (2014). Experienced teachers' perspectives on priorities for improved intelligible pronunciation: The case of Japanese learners of English. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 24, 250277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., & Brajot, F. (2013). Scrutinizing the role of length of residence and age of acquisition in the interlanguage pronunciation development of English /r/ by late Japanese bilinguals. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 16, 847863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2015). Second language speech production: Investigating linguistic correlates of comprehensibility and accentedness for learners at different ability levels. Applied Psycholinguistics. Advance online publication. doi:10.1017/S0142716414000502 Google Scholar
Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (in press). Using listener judgements to investigate linguistic influences on L2 comprehensibility and accentedness: A validation and generalization study. Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar
Saito, K., Trofimovich, P., Isaacs, T., & Webb, S. (in press). Re-examining phonological and lexical correlates of second language comprehensibility: The role of rater experience. Isaacs, In T. & Trofimovich, P. (Eds.), Interfaces in second language pronunciation assessment: Interdisciplinary perspectives. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
Skehan, P. (2002). Theorising and updating aptitude. Individual Differences and Instructed Language Learning, 2, 6994.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Skehan, P. (2009). Modelling second language performance: Integrating complexity, accuracy, fluency, and lexis. Applied Linguistics, 30, 510532.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spada, N., & Tomita, Y. (2010). Interactions between type of instruction and type of language feature: A meta-analysis. Language Learning, 60, 263308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, I. (1991). Foreign accents revisited: The English pronunciation of Russian immigrants. Language Learning, 41, 177204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trofimovich, P., & Baker, W. (2006). Learning second-language suprasegmentals: Effect of L2 experience on prosody and fluency characteristics of L2 speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 28, 130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trofimovich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2012). Disentangling accent from comprehensibility. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15, 905916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trofimovich, P., Lightbown, P. M., Halter, R., & Song, H. (2009). Comprehension-based practice: The development of L2 pronunciation in a listening and reading program. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31, 609639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
VanPatten, B. (2004). Processing instruction: Theory, research, and commentary. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
Winke, P., Gass, S., & Myford, C. (2013). Raters' L2 background as a potential source of bias in rating oral performance. Language Testing, 30, 231252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yashima, T., Zenuk-Nishide, L., & Shimizu, K. (2004). The influence of attitudes and affect on willingness to communicate and second language communication. Language Learning, 54, 119152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Yao, Z., Saito, K., Trofimvich, P., & Isaacs, T. (2013). Z-Lab. Retrieved August 15, 2013, from https://github.com/ZeshanYao/Z-Lab Google Scholar
Yuan, F., & Ellis, R. (2003). The effects of pre-task planning and on-line planning on fluency, complexity and accuracy in L2 monologic oral production. Applied Linguistics, 24, 127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
24
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Developing second language oral ability in foreign language classrooms: The role of the length and focus of instruction and individual differences
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Developing second language oral ability in foreign language classrooms: The role of the length and focus of instruction and individual differences
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Developing second language oral ability in foreign language classrooms: The role of the length and focus of instruction and individual differences
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *