The present study, a One-Group Posttest-Only Repeated-Measures Design, examined the effect of speech elicitation method on second language (L2) phonemic accuracy of high functional load initial phonemes found in frequently occurring nouns in American English. This effect was further analyzed by including the variable of first language (L1) to determine if L1 moderated any effects found. The data consisted of audio recordings of 61 adult English learners (ELs) enrolled in English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses at a large, public, post-secondary institution in the United States. Phonemic accuracy was judged by two independent raters as either approximating a standard American English (SAE) pronunciation of the intended phoneme or not, thus a dichotomous scale, and scores were assigned to each participant in terms of the three speech elicitation methods of word reading, word repetition, and picture naming. Results from a repeated measures ANOVA test revealed a statistically significant difference in phonemic accuracy (F(1.47, 87.93) = 25.94, p = .000) based on speech elicitation method, while the two-factor mixed design ANOVA test indicated no statistically significant differences for the moderator variable of native language. However, post-hoc analyses revealed that mean scores of picture naming tasks differed significantly from the other two elicitation methods of word reading and word repetition. Moreover, the results of this study should heighten attention to the role that various speech elicitation methods, or input modalities, might play on L2 productive accuracy. Implications for practical application suggest that caution should be used when utilizing pictures to elicit specific vocabulary words–even high-frequency words–as they might result in erroneous productions or no utterance at all. These methods could inform pronunciation instructors about best teaching practices when pronunciation accuracy is the objective. Finally, the impact of L1 on L2 pronunciation accuracy might not be as important as once thought.


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Graduation Date





Farina, Marcella


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance

Degree Program

Education; Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages









Release Date

August 2018

Length of Campus-only Access

1 year

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)