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iPrompt-U


An extension of ReadN'Karaoke to attend to second language learners of English


Lab Members: Heather Kember, Rupal Patel

Collaborators: Isabel Meirelles (Northeastern University)

Funding: Northeastern University Tier 1 Award

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Expressive spoken language is as much about how you say something as what you say. Prosody, the melody of speech, relates to how one says a word or sentence to convey differences in meaning, attitude and affect. While second language learners (L2) of English may master vocabulary and even pronunciation of individual words, they often struggle with English prosody. As a result, listeners not only perceive L2 speech as non-native, they also have difficulty comprehending their message.

The iPrompt-U project aims to improving oral language expressivity in L2 speakers. Preliminary studies show that after a single training session, participants read with more expression at post-training compared to baseline. Additionally, naïve listeners rated participants as sounding more expressive and understandable post-training.

We have recently partnered with the Speech and Hearing Clinic at Northeastern University to include prosodic training via iPrompt-U as part of their accent modification interventions for international students.