Journal of Studies in Language, Culture and Society (JSLCS)
Volume 3, Numéro 1, Pages 27-65

Analysis Of Algerian Students English Intonation Deviations With The Employment Of Speech Analyzer And Praat Programmes

Authors : Bengrait Nawel .

Abstract

Learners‟ mispronunciations can be detected easily in a long stretch of speech in which the listener can discriminate differences in vowels, consonants, and prosody productions compared to native speakers‟ English. Algerian students employing inappropriate intonation contours, which differentiate grammatical categories and speakers‟ intentions, may lead to comprehension and communication problems. This paper aims at investigating the intonational errors produced by Algerian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students and the extent to which Algerian Arabic interferes in the learning process of English tonal categories. This quasi-experimental study reports on the effect of providing audio-visual feedback to students‟ pronunciations of English intonation with the use of Speech Analyzer, and the retrieval of pitch and intensity values with Praat during the third semester of the phonetic course at the Department of English, University of Guelma, Algeria. The experimental group of second year students (N=10) productions were compared to native speakers of American English control group (N= six, at the Diderot Paris 7 University, France) renditions in which both groups were subjected to non-random assignment. The applicability and contribution of these speech-processing programs in data manipulation, analysis, and synthesis are evaluated. The results display that the students‟ intonation deviations were interpreted in terms of Algerian Arabic transfer or individual differences; therefore, their performances were perceived with a foreign accent. The implementation of these devices in teaching English intonation enables to estimate the degree to which such technologies are useful.

Keywords

Algerian Arabic, EFL, intonation deviation, speech-processing programme.