Speech Prosody 2010

Chicago, IL, USA
May 10-14, 2010

The Implicit Prosody Hypothesis Applied to Foreign Language Learning: From Oral Abilities to Reading Skills

Charlotte Alazard, Corine Astésano, Michel Billières

Université de Toulouse - Octogone-Lordat, Toulouse, France

This study investigates the positive influence of oral skills' training on reading abilities for learners of French as a foreign language. We hypothesize that teaching prosody, especially at an early stage of the learning process, will not only improve students' speech fluency and pronunciation skills, but also dramatically improve their strategies to decode written speech. We conducted a longitudinal study over eight weeks with four English students of French, split into a Control Group, where the teacher focused on reading comprehension, and a Test Group, where she emphasized phonetic correction and prosodic abilities.

Both acoustic and perception data indicate an improvement in reading fluency within the Test Group only, especially for the beginner student.

Index Terms: Prosody, transfer of oral abilities on reading skills, Didactic of French as a Foreign Language, "Verbo-Tonal" Method.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Alazard, Charlotte / Astésano, Corine / Billières, Michel (2010): "The implicit prosody hypothesis applied to foreign language learning: from oral abilities to reading skills", In SP-2010, paper 648.