The goal of this study is to determine whether and how oral repetition can improve the fluent production of Spanish sentences of various lengths and constructions. We do this by presenting students with spoken Spanish sentences and letting them practice repeating them back. In this study, students heard each sentence three times and immediately repeated it back. We measured the length of the repetition (how long it took them to repeat it back) and recorded the number and types of errors they made.
1. During an oral repetition task, do students increase fluency in terms of the time it takes them to repeat back the sentence?
2. Do students increase fluency in terms of the amount of errors they make while repeating back the sentences?
3. How does student comprehension affect their ability to repeat the sentence back? That is, are students able to repeat back parts of the sentence even if they don’t understand them?
4. Are students aware of their own speech, to the extent that they can accurately rate their own performance?
Background and Significance
To be added.
In this task, students would hear a spoken Spanish sentence, then repeat it back. They would then translate the sentence into English (to the best of their ability) and rate how well they did in repeating the sentence back, on a scale from 1 to 7, 1 being the worst and 7 being the best. They heard each sentence four times, and thus had four opportunities to improve their speech for each sentence. A week later, they came back for a posttest, where they heard each sentence once.
First, we discovered that across attempts, the time it took participants to repeat the sentence lessened. We measured this by looking both at the time between when they started speaking to when they completed the repetition, and in the initial pause, the time between when the audio stimulus ended and they started speaking. There were significant decreases in both of these times. We also discovered that across attempts, the number of correctly repeated sentences increased, and the number of incomplete sentences (ones they could not successfully repeat) decreased significantly. We also found that across attempts participants had significantly fewer missing words and different wordings (where the repetition kept the same meaning as the original but with different wording). Doing a trends analysis, we also found significant linear relationships for the number of repetitions/corrections and wrong article usages. However, contrary to what we expected, we found that in both of these cases the number of repetitions/corrections and wrong articles actually increased across attempts.
The fourth research question was about the extent to which students are aware of their own speech and whether they are able to accurately rate their own performance. To determine this, we looked at whether the time taken to repeat the sentence and a number of different errors correlated with their rating of their own speech. First we looked at the duration of the utterance, and found a significant correlation, with a rating of 3 having the longest mean duration of utterance and 7 having the lowest. Ratings of 1 and 2 had shorter durations, because ratings of 1 and 2 generally indicated that they were unable to repeat the sentence, leading to shorter, incomplete sentences.
These results show that oral repetition leads to improved fluency in terms of taking less time to repeat the sentence and in the correctness of the repetition. The results also show that participants are able to rate their own speech with relative accuracy, because as accuracy rises and speaking time goes down, students' self-ratings of their speech go up. So, as they are able to more accurately and more quickly repeat the sentence, they .