Boosting English Majors’ Ability in Pronouncing Stressed Vowels via Blue Canoe, a Mobile-based Application: A Focus on Vietnamese EFL Learners
Keywords:mobile game-based apps/ activities, English pronunciation/ vowel sounds, oral fluency
There is no doubt that teaching and learning English pronunciation is one of the major concerns facing EFL/ESL educators and experts. Specifically, stressed vowel practice instruction has been considered a massive challenge among Vietnamese teachers because these two languages possess certain distinctive features in phonetics. This new digital age indicates that mobile-based applications have actively promoted EFL/ESL learners’ sound production. Thus, this paper pinpointed how digital apps affected learning vowels among English learners and discussed their attitudes towards the apps with the help of 32 first-year students majoring in English at Van Lang University, Ho Chi Minh City. A pre-test and post-test were used to see if there was a significant distinction in the participants’ ability to acquire vowel sounds. In addition, a five-point Likert scale questionnaire was employed to test how content they were when they used the app. The results show that with mean scores of 6.88 and 11.177 in the pre-test and post-test, respectively, students in the experimental group improved than their counterparts in the other group (M=6.0 in the pre-test and 8.47 in the post-test). Hence, an explanation for the better performance in the intervened group is that the participants practiced pronouncing vowels with the application Blue Canoe during the course. In addition, these participants also had a favorable attitude towards the mobile-based application in their phonetics class, with a mean score of 3.96 on the questionnaire.
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