Pronunciation training based on speech production techniques illustrating tongue movements is gaining popularity. However, there is not sufficient evidence that learners can imitate some tongue animation. In this paper, we investigated human awareness of controlling their tongue body gestures. In a first experiment, participants were asked to perform some tongue movements. This task was evaluated by observing ultrasound imaging of the tongue recorded during the experiment. No feedback was provided. In a second experiment, a short session of training was added where participants can observe ultrasound imaging in real-time of their own tongue movements. The goal was to increase their awareness of their tongue gestures. A pre-test and post-test were carried out without any feedback. The results suggest that without a priori knowledge, it is not easy to finely control tongue body gestures; and that we gain in performance after a short training session which suggests that providing visual feedback, even a short one, improves tongue gesture awareness.
Bibliographic reference. Ouni, Slim (2011): "Tongue gestures awareness and pronunciation training", In INTERSPEECH-2011, 881-884.