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Understanding second language fluency development: Comparisons with first language speech and with listener perceptions

Friday, March 13, 2015
12:00 AM
Pillsbury Room, East Hall

Speaker: Ralph Rose, Center for English Language Education and Faculty of Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Japan

Evidence is growing in support of the idea that in order to effectively interpret a speaker's second language (L2) speech fluency, observations of first language (L1) speech behavior are needed as a baseline (e.g., De Jong et al 2015). The Crosslinguistic Corpus of Hesitation Phenomena was created with this need in mind. The corpus includes speech by individuals in both Japanese (L1) and English (L2) in response to parallel elicitation tasks, allowing intra-speaker comparisons of L1/L2 speech behavior.  In this talk, I will present data from the corpus showing the relationship between various temporal variables (e.g., speech rate, silent pauses, filled pauses, repeats, and self-corrections) in L1 and L2 speech, representing utterance fluency (Segalowitz 2010). For comparison, I will also present data based on fluency ratings of the corpus L2 speech by native English speakers, representing a speaker-external view of fluency (i.e., perceptual fluency). Results show a divergence between the temporal variables that more likely indicate L2 proficiency development relative to L1 speech performance and the variables on which raters base their judgments of L2 fluency.


For more information, please contact Professor Lorenzo García-Amaya ( This lecture series is sponsored by: the College of Literature, Science & the Arts, the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, and the Speech Production Laboratory.