Testing the effect of synchronous speech tasks in the production of L2 speech rhythm in learners of Spanish as a Second Language






The following study tested the effect of synchronous and non-synchronous speech conditions in the production of L2 speech rhythm in Spanish. Namely, it assessed the production of American English speakers of Spanish with intermediate and upper-intermediate levels of competence in Spanish (n = 31) in comparison to the L1 speech rhythm of a control group of native speakers of Spanish (n = 32). For this purpose, speech samples were elicited from a reading aloud task, including four speech conditions: 1) Synchrony live condition; 2) Synchrony with the recording from the live condition; 3) Synchrony with a recording from a non-live condition; and, 4) Solo recording condition. The analysis of the results showed that the speech rhythm of the experimental group and the control group was modulated by the different conditions of the experimental task. Notably, non-native participants produced longer vocalic and consonantal intervals and higher vowel percentages than the native speakers of Chilean Spanish across conditions. The theoretical and pedagogical implications concerning the use of synchronous speech in the production of L2 speech rhythm are assessed and discussed.

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