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The effect of explicit training on the prosodic production of L2 sarcasm by Dutch learners of English

Smorenburg, L., Rodd, J., & Chen, A. (2015). The effect of explicit training on the prosodic production of L2 sarcasm by Dutch learners of English. In M. Wolters, J. Livingstone, B. Beattie, R. Smith, M. MacMahon, J. Stuart-Smith, & J. Scobbie (Eds.), Proceedings of the 18th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2015). Glasgow, UK: University of Glasgow.
Previous research [9] suggests that Dutch learners of (British) English are not able to express sarcasm prosodically in their L2. The present study investigates whether explicit training on the prosodic markers of sarcasm in English can improve learners’ realisation of sarcasm. Sarcastic speech was elicited in short simulated telephone conversations between Dutch advanced learners of English and a native British English-speaking ‘friend’ in two sessions, fourteen days apart. Between the two sessions, participants were trained by means of (1) a presentation, (2) directed independent practice, and (3) evaluation of participants’ production and individual feedback in small groups. L1 British English-speaking raters subsequently evaluated the degree of sarcastic sounding in the participants’ responses on a five-point scale. It was found that significantly higher sarcasm ratings were given to L2 learners’ production obtained after the training than that obtained before the training; explicit training on prosody has a positive effect on learners’ production of sarcasm.
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