Using Multiple Measures to Document Change in English Vowels Produced by Japanese, Korean, and Spanish Speakers: The Case for Goodness and Intelligibility Purpose This study examined the effectiveness of using goodness ratings and intelligibility scores to document changes in vowel production following pronunciation training. The relationship between listener perceptions of goodness and intelligibility was also examined. Method Fifteen English language learner speakers (5 Japanese, 5 Korean, and 5 Spanish) participated ... Research Article
Research Article  |   November 01, 2014
Using Multiple Measures to Document Change in English Vowels Produced by Japanese, Korean, and Spanish Speakers: The Case for Goodness and Intelligibility
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amber D. Franklin
    Miami University, Oxford, OH
  • Carol Stoel-Gammon
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Amber Franklin: franklad@miamiOh.edu
  • Editor: Krista Wilkinson
    Editor: Krista Wilkinson×
  • Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls
    Associate Editor: Jack Ryalls×
Article Information
Research Articles
Research Article   |   November 01, 2014
Using Multiple Measures to Document Change in English Vowels Produced by Japanese, Korean, and Spanish Speakers: The Case for Goodness and Intelligibility
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 625-640. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0144
History: Received December 13, 2013 , Revised April 3, 2014 , Accepted June 17, 2014
 
American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, November 2014, Vol. 23, 625-640. doi:10.1044/2014_AJSLP-13-0144
History: Received December 13, 2013; Revised April 3, 2014; Accepted June 17, 2014

Purpose This study examined the effectiveness of using goodness ratings and intelligibility scores to document changes in vowel production following pronunciation training. The relationship between listener perceptions of goodness and intelligibility was also examined.

Method Fifteen English language learner speakers (5 Japanese, 5 Korean, and 5 Spanish) participated in 16 sessions of vowel-focused pronunciation training. Pre- and posttraining judgments of 10 English vowels in /hVt/ context were conducted by 25 monolingual English speakers who served as listeners. Listeners judged vowel intelligibility using a 10-alternative forced-choice task and rated goodness using a 5-point Likert scale.

Results Goodness ratings and intelligibility scores captured improvement in the accuracy of several vowels following training. However, some vowels that received better mean intelligibility scores received poorer mean goodness ratings following training. The relationship between goodness ratings and intelligibility scores revealed that vowels such as /æ/ and /ʌ/ were more dependent on goodness for intelligibility than vowels such as /i/ and /e/, which were highly intelligible even when they received poor goodness ratings.

Conclusion English vowels differ with respect to the importance of goodness for accurate identification by listeners. As such, clinicians should examine both goodness and intelligibility when measuring change following pronunciation training.

Acknowledgments
The preparation of this manuscript was supported in part by National Institute of Child Health and Human Development National Institutes of Health Predoctoral Fellowship F31 HD046412-05. Special thanks to Lesley Olswang, Karen Pollock, and Tanya Eadie for their guidance and to Geralyn Timler, Kristina Gehrman, Cassandra Guarneros, and Kara Oksanen for their feedback during manuscript preparation and revision.
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