Date: Saturday, January 27, 2024 9:00 AM - Sunday, February 04, 2024 12:00 PM
Location: Tokyo・Osaka (Online Live)
Dr. Ron Thomson

The Role of Speech Perception in Second Language Pronunciation Learning


Professor:  Dr. Ron Thomson (Brock University, Canada)

Credit hours:  1 credit hour

Schedule:  3-hour online Zoom sessions for four days

  • Saturday, January 27 from 9:00 to 12:00
  • Sunday, January 28 from 9:00 to 12:00
  • Saturday, February 3 from 9:00 to 12:00
  • Sunday, February 4 from 9:00 to 12:00

Students taking this seminar for credit must attend all four days.

This seminar will be conducted by 3-hour online Zoom sessions for four days: Saturday, January 27, Sunday, January 28, Saturday, February 3 and Sunday, February 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (JST). Students taking this seminar for credit must attend all four days. Students can add/drop this seminar course by 13:00 on Saturday, January 27.

The pre sign-up (or course registration for those who are taking this seminar for credit) is required for anybody attending the public session on Saturday, January 27 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (JST). The sign-up process must be completed through "Distinguished Lecturer Series Seminar Sign-Up Form" that is available on TUJ Grad Ed website. The sign-up deadline is Friday, January 26 at 12:00 p.m. The public session Zoom link will be provided to those people who completed the online sign-up (or course registration) process by 18:00 on Friday, January 26.

When we think about teaching adult learners a new language, it is second nature to focus on speaking. What if this focus circumvents a more natural approach to learning – one that uses the same cognitive mechanisms that typically developing children use to learn their first language (L1)? In naturalistic learning contexts, accessing these childhood learning mechanisms is difficult.  Fortunately, instructed second language (L2) acquisition provides an opportunity for teachers to help learners reorient their attention towards perceptual cues to promote lasting change in pronunciation.

This seminar has several goals.  First, the instructor will provide an overview of how L1 speech develops and ways in which L2 speech learning follows a similar path.  The instructor hopes to convince participants of the need to spend more time on the process of L2 pronunciation learning, and less time on the final product.  Second, the instructor will provide an overview of a research-based technique that provides explicit, efficient, and effective perceptual instruction.  Third, the instructor will give opportunity for participants to brainstorm ways of integrating insights from research into traditional language classrooms.

The summative project will require participants to read several relevant papers and devise new research questions concerning the role of speech perception in L2 pronunciation. They will then conduct a single-learner pilot study of L2 speech perception, using the instructor's perceptual training platform. This may be a self-study, or it may involve having a friend complete a short training experiment. Participants will write a short reflection on what they learned from completing the pilot.

Open to the Public

This seminar is open to the public, with first three hours for free.

How to attend the seminarSeminar Sign Up Form