ORAL CAVITY AWARENESS IN NONNATIVE SPEAKERS ACQUIRING ENGLISH1,2

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Abstract

Summary.

This investigation assessed awareness of the oral cavity of nonnative speakers acquiring English. University students (60 men, 60 women) were placed into three equal-size groups. The Less Experienced group lived in the USA less than 6 mo. (M = 3.3 mo., SD = 2.4). The More Experienced group lived in the United States 3 or more years (M = 5.0 yr., SD = 1.9). Native English speakers were the control group. Participants were recruited from undergraduate general education classes and passed a speech screening in English including accurate production of the seven English syllables tested, namely, suh, luh, tuh, kuh, ruh, shuh, and thuh. Participants answered four multiple-choice questions about lingual contact for each of the syllables imitated. Total test mean scores were significantly higher for the More Experienced group. Native speakers performed the task best. Findings support the effects of amount of time speaking the language. Training methods employed to teach English and slight dialectal variations may account for the significant differences seen in the two groups of nonnative speakers. Further study is warranted.

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