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LINGUIST List 24.1657

Fri Apr 12 2013

Diss: Lang Acq/Phonetics/Phonology/Arabic, Standard/English: Almbark: 'The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 12-Apr-2013
From: Rana Alhussein Almbark <rana.alhusseinalmbarkyork.ac.uk>
Subject: The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners:The foreign language model
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Institution: University of York
Program: Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Rana Alhussein Almbark

Dissertation Title: The Perception and Production of SSBE Vowels by Syrian Arabic learners:The foreign language model

Linguistic Field(s): Language Acquisition

Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (arb)
                            English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Sam Hellmuth

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis presents an examination of the perception and production
of Standard Southern British English (SSBE) vowels by Syrian Arabic
(SA) Foreign language (FL) learners. The focus of this thesis is the FL
learners who learned their English in their country and mostly by non-
native teachers. Thus, by definition, the FL learners do not have native
English input on a daily basis. This thesis reports on an empirical
investigation of the Second Language (L2) perceptual and production
patterns of a group of FL learners, which has received little interest in
the literature, combining insights from current cross-language speech
perception (Perceptual Assimilation Model) (Best 1994, 1995, 1999)
and L2 learning models (Speech Learning Model) (Flege 1995). These
models were mainly developed to account for early and advanced L2
learners, respectively. Thus, this study aims to develop an account for
the perception and production of FL learners based on current L2

Results indicate that the specific learning context of FL learners is
reflected in their perception and production patterns. For example,
these learners live in a predominantly L1 environment, and their L2
input is mainly taken in a classroom and mostly by local teachers.
However, this study argues that though FL learners lack native L2
input, they do have access to the phonology, syntax, and structures of
the L2 via direct teaching. It is also shown that the perceptual patterns
of the learners succeeded in predicting their production patterns, which
has implications on the perception-production link for L2 learners, in
general, and for FL learners in particular.

The main outcome of the present thesis is that it develops an account
of the perception and production of FL learners. It outlines the main
principles for a proposed Foreign Language Model, in which the
peculiarities of FL learners are taken into consideration compared to
other groups of learners.

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