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Abstract: Martin

L2 pronunciation training boosts the acquisition of L2 grammar among classroom learners

Previous studies on L2 pronunciation instruction have hypothesized that pronunciation training leads not only to gains in pronunciation accuracy, but can also boost grammar acquisition (Eskenazi, 1999; Hardison, 2004). The current study examines how pronunciation training can facilitate grammar acquisition on a target structure that is often difficult for English learners of L2 German. Fifty-five students enrolled in 2nd semester German classes completed a 30-minute computer-based grammar lesson on verb placement rules for separable and inseparable prefix verbs in German. Participants in the treatment group received pronunciation training on lexical stress patterns with separable/inseparable prefix verbs prior to the grammar lesson, whereas the control group did not. Using a pre-, post-, delayed posttest design, students' command of the target structure was tested prior to and after the grammar lesson (and pronunciation training) using a perception task and a written production task. Analyses show that only the pronunciation treatment group made significant improvement after the grammar lesson in distinguishing separable from inseparable prefix verbs on the perception task. While both the pronunciation treatment group and the control group made gains in verb-placement accuracy on the production task immediately following the grammar lesson, only the pronunciation training group maintained this improvement over time, as measured by the delayed posttest. These findings support the hypothesis that pronunciation training can facilitate L2 acquisition across multiple linguistic domains. 

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