La distancia fonética interlingüística y su efecto sobre la percepción vocálica de la lengua meta

Book Title
Actas del XXIV Congreso Internacional de AESLA
273 - 279
Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia

This study investigates the perception of English as a foreign language in a school instruction context. The data analysis was carried out in the light of the predictions of the “Speech Learning Model” (SLM, Flege 1995) with regard to native language influence on second language phonetic acquisition. The results indicated that, in agreement with the SLM, the distance between native and non-native phonetic categories, as expressed by the classification of non-native sounds into identical, similar and new sounds, had an influence on the acquisition of non-native categories. However, this influence varied according to learners’ age. The youngest schoolchildren exhibited better new sound perception while the oldest learners were better at perceiving identical sounds. Intermediate age students, on the contrary, performed similarly in the three sound categories. These differences can be accounted for in terms of factors such as a greater phonetic sensitivity in the case of younger learners and a greater metalinguistic awareness in the case of older students.