The major aim of the current study is to investigate the outcomes of computer-assisted L2 pronunciation training to verify if there is a positive correlation between self-imitation practice and L2 pronunciation improvement in the process of second language acquisition. 35 Polish students of Applied Linguistics (at English level B2+) divided into two groups did imitation and self-imitation exercises in order to improve their L2 pronunciation skills. First, their pre-training performances were recorded. Subsequently, the first group received a model version of a recorded text pronounced by an English native speaker and were asked to practice it by repeating the recording. For the second group, the students’ recordings were first matched to the native speaker’s (model) voice by means of Praat. In order to clone the prosody of the ‘golden speaker's’ voice ProZed plugin was implemented. The group was then asked to listen to their own, yet modified recordings and repeat them as frequently as the previous research group. The impact of both types of tasks was then evaluated by comparing both pre- and post-training utterances with the use of appropriate statistical tools. Four acoustic parameters were considered, namely pitch (F0 contour), articulation rate, speech rate, and average syllable duration. The results of research have revealed that there is a significant correlation between L2 pronunciation improvement and self-imitation training. The findings help to clarify the role of pronunciation in the communication process.
Ewa Kusz, University of Rzeszów, Poland