About the project

"A corpus-aided English pronunciation teaching and learning system and teacher training"
We developed a corpus-aided English pronunciation teaching and learning system (https://corpus.eduhk.hk/english_pronunciation/) to help teachers, learners and researchers have a better understanding of the major problems in learning English pronunciation by Hong Kong, Mainland Chinese and non-Chinese speakers in Hong Kong. By discovering learners’ pronunciation features through spoken corpora, teachers can identify learners’ recurrent difficulties in using segmental features and suprasegmental features of English and design lessons to reduce such difficulties.
There are four key elements of the teaching and learning system – a spoken corpus, suggested pronunciation lesson plans and practices, recommended resources, and a Praat manual for beginners of phonetics. The corpus named “The spoken English corpus of Chinese and Non-Chinese learners in Hong Kong” is the core of the system. It contains 136 sets of high-quality recordings, providing speech data collected from 20 Hong Kong learners, 96 mainland China learners from 9 dialectal regions (i.e. Mandarin, Yueh, Wu, Kan, Northern Min, Southern Min, Hsiang, Jin, and Hakka) and 20 non-Chinese learners (i.e. Philippino, Pakistan, Indian etc.), who were university students in local universities aged from 18 to 30. For pedagogical purposes, broad phonological annotations of both segmental and suprasegmental features are provided for the users.

Figure 1. A screenshot of the segmental annotation of a reading

Figure 2. A screenshot of the suprasegmental annotation of an utterance

Based on the teaching and learning system, a corpus-aided pronunciation teaching and learning framework was developed to integrate the corpus as a tool for teaching English. A series of corpus-aided sample lesson plans and teaching materials for primary and secondary levels were designed for free access.

Figure 3. The corpus-aided pronunciation teaching and learning framework

Furthermore, the framework and the system were implemented in a corpus-aided pronunciation teaching training program for pre- and in-service teachers delivered by means of workshops and online sessions. Most of the users and the training program participants provided positive evaluation on the teaching and learning system and the program. (https://corpus.eduhk.hk/english_pronunciation/index.php/for-teachers/).

Figure 4. Photos of training program activities

English learners in Hong Kong are not only local Hong Kongers but also learners from various ethnic groups and from different dialectal regions in mainland China. Given the complexity of language backgrounds and the fact that second language acquisition is influenced by L1, the spoken learner corpus can serve as an effective tool for both teachers and learners. English teachers are strongly encouraged to understand the differences in pronunciation problems among their students and use the corpus-aided teaching approach and resources in their classrooms.
Research Team

Principal Project Supervisor:

Co-supervisors:

Research Assistants: 

CHEN Hsueh Chu, Rebecca

WANG Li Xun; CHAN WONG Pui Man, Jennie; CHAN Ka Yin; CHEE, Epin

WANG Qian, Bobbie; HAN Qian Wen, Veronica;

ZHOU Xiao Na, Tina; TIAN Jing Xuan, Xuan

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