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Academic Paper

Title: A Reexamination of Ultimate Attainment in L2 Phonology: Length of Immersion, Motivation, and Phonological Short-Term Memory
Paper URL:
Author: Charles Nagle
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Iowa State University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Phonetics; Phonology
Abstract: The current study investigated phonological attainment among a sample of 34 English-speaking late-learners of L2 Spanish. Participants completed a language background questionnaire, motivation assessment, operation span task, and phonological short-term memory task, and recorded three speaking tasks. As a point of comparison, three native Spanish-speaking participants also recorded the speaking tasks. Four naïve L1 Spanish raters subsequently evaluated the speech clips. Regression analyses on the raters' scores revealed that length of immersion, motivation, and phonological short-term memory accounted for 70% of the variance in the sample. Furthermore, three learners received ratings that fell within the native range. Taken together, these findings suggest that immersion, motivation, and PSTM are critical factors that determine end-state phonological attainment for the learners in this study, as well as that late-learners appear to be capable of achieving near-native pronunciation in a foreign language.
Type: Individual Paper
Status: Completed
Publication Info: In E. Voss, S. Tai, and Z. Li (Eds.), Selected Proceedings of the 2011 Second Language Research Forum (pp. 148–161). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.

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