Intonation in Spanish Classroom-style Didactic Speech

Rajiv Rao
2011 Journal of Language Teaching and Research  
Work on intonation, especially related to Spanish, has not focused extensively on second language acquisition in general. Within this context, little to no research has addressed how language instructors use rhythm and melody to facilitate the oral comprehension of language learners. This study begins to enter this space by analyzing recordings of Spanish language instructors reading passages directed at first year language students. The main results reveal that the these language instructors
more » ... deed employ intonational strategies such as pitch range expansion, early peak alignment, increased time and extent of pitch rises, less pitch reduction, and stress addition. All of these characteristics corroborate and expand upon previous literature on narrow focus and emphatic speech styles in Spanish. In this case, phonetic cues are produced to create special emphasis on words that are of particular interest to students when answering oral comprehension questions on a written exam. The concluding remarks hope to spark future perceptual studies that will help us gain a more complete picture of how didactic speech benefits learners with low levels of proficiency.
doi:10.4304/jltr.2.3.493-507 fatcat:b5ehqerwrja47hq7lw5ithduji