Variation in VOT: A study on the pronunciation of voiceless stops in English by Dutch Early English teachers
This study examines voice-onset time (VOT) in voiceless stops in word-onsets as produced by Dutch teachers of English working at Dutch primary schools that offer Early English. Input plays an important role in language learning and at present, little is known about the input pupils at Early English schools receive from their English teachers. The first aim was to describe the range and variability of the VOT-values produced by these teachers. The second aim was to determine whether self-assessments of foreign language proficiency are a reliable method of measuring foreign accent. VOT-values were measured in recordings obtained in a picture description task. Participants also filled in a teacher background questionnaire in which they were asked, for self-assessment scores of language proficiency using a scale based on the CEFR. Results showed a large variability in VOT-values, both within and between participants. No effect of self-assessment scores on VOT was found.
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