High Variability Pronunciation Training (HVPT): Using Different Stimulus Talkers and Sound-To-Symbol Associations in L2 Pronunciation Learning

  • Kelsey Lynn Labbé (Brock University)


This paper describes a study of High Variability Pronunciation Training (HVPT), investigating the effects of utilizing both different sound symbols and male vs. female talkers on L2 perception and production. Using the web application English Accent Coach, 8 English language learners (ELLs) were assigned to one of four groups, being trained through exposure to either male or female talkers and were asked to indicate what vowels they heard using either the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) or a colour grid. After hearing each sound stimulus item, learners responded by clicking on an IPA symbol or colour that represented the sound they believed that they heard and received immediate feedback. Initial descriptive statistics results based on pre- and post-tests show that participants improved in L2 vowel perception and production, regardless of which sound symbol was used as a reference. In addition, the data suggests that the sex of the stimulus talker may have a role in pronunciation acquisition for both L2 perception and production. Due to this paper’s exploratory nature, future research is needed to best inform practice and to confirm potential impacts of sex of stimulus talker in HVPT and L2 pronunciation learning.

Keywords: HVPT, L2 Perception, L2 Production, Pronunciation learning, English Language learners, sex of talker, sound symbols, language learning

How to Cite:

Labbé, K. L. (2023) High Variability Pronunciation Training (HVPT): Using different stimulus talkers and sound-to-symbol associations in L2 pronunciation learning. In R. I. Thomson, T. M. Derwing, J. M. Levis, & K. Hiebert (Eds.), Proceedings of the 13th Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching Conference, ­­­­­­­­held June 2022 at Brock University, St. Catharines, ON. doi:

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Published on
30 Jun 2023
Peer Reviewed