Universiteit Leiden

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Training listening skills for difficult non-native contrasts: artificial and natural contrast enhancement

  • Paola Escudero
Monday 27 May 2019
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
2311 BV Leiden


I will review our previous studies using distributional learning and enhanced sound distributions with successful results training difficult non-native contrasts. The emphasize will be on results from a variety of learners with specific language backgrounds and in light of theoretical models. In addition, I will present evidence showing that difficulty with native and non-native contrasts depends on how salient the difference between the members of the contrast is. I will then introduce a method that could help non-native learners (babies, children and adults) to get exposed to natural enhancement of a difficult native contrast with predictions for success in perceiving the contrast and using it to learn foreign language words.

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