An Auditory Perspective to How Phonetic Training Affects Listening

Jing GAO


In second language acquisition, listening plays a fundamental role for it functions as an important source of message input. Cognitive linguists advocate that effective comprehension of listening requires the activation of schematic knowledge in listener’s brain. While many researchers have studied how second language learners use their background knowledge and global understanding to derive meaning from and interpret message, it is rarely studied that listening is also a process of sound decoding from phoneme to the complete text. Auditory phonetics believes this decoding starts from sound discrimination which occurs in human ears and stimulates the auditory nerves to decode the sounds in the brain. This study investigates this sound decoding process in listening comprehension by conducting an experiment on college English learners. The result of the experiment shows that English pronunciation and listening are correlated and subjects receiving phonetic training improve their listening comprehension. These findings inspire college English teachers to innovate novel teaching methods by combining phonetic teaching with listening teaching.


Auditory Phonetics, Sound Decoding, Listening Comprehension


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