Production of english vowels by native spanish speakers: an analysis
Santiago Roncero, Amaia
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The objective of achieving a proficient pronunciation in a language other than the individual’s mother tongue is a great challenge that numerous speakers are willing to overcome. However, during language acquisition learners encounter many obstacles that prevent them from achieving this, and often result in an evident foreign accent in the speech. In order to provide insights into the previous research in this field, four main Foreign Language (FL) Perception Models were reviewed in this paper. One of these models is Flege’s Speech Learning Model (SLM), which considers the lack of an adequate perception and the level of resemblance between the First Language (L1) and Second Language (L2) or FL sounds as the most important factors that will influence a FL learner’s speech. Even though Flege (1995) admits that not all the errors are perceptually motivated he does not analyze the impact of other motives on the learner’s speech. Considering this question, the possible influence of the spelling of the L1 and FL was selected as an additional object of analysis. Thus, with the aim of confirming the predictions of the SLM as well as solving the scope of influence of the L1 and FL orthography a brief study was carried out, on which some FL speech was examined. The analyzed conversations were part of the DiapixFL corpus, and the selected participants Spanish native speakers who had English as an FL. The analysis revealed a strong influence of the L1 and FL spelling in the FL production, and also restated the previously proved predictions of the SLM. However, further research is needed to determine the influence of other factors that were not covered in the present study.