Retention of English sentences learned by reading aloud using Text-To-Speech (TTS) speech sounds: A longitudinal study in a Japanese high school

Author/s:

Kataoka, Harumi*
Kinki University, Japan (h.kataoka2014@gmail.com; h_kataoka@kindai.ac.jp)

Ito, Makiko
Osaka Prefectural Kashiwara-higashi High School, Japan (itou@kashiwarahigashi.osaka-c.ed.jp)

Yamane, Shigeru
Kansai University, Japan (yamane@kansai-u.ac.jp)

Abstract:

This study examines the retention effect of classroom English sentences, which Japanese high school students learned through the activity of reading aloud (RA). The audio materials used during their instruction were created by using Text-To-Speech (TTS) speech sounds. From 2009 to 2011, we conducted a longitudinal study spanning three academic years at a public senior high school in Japan. In total, 49 Japanese high school students participated in this study. They were divided into two groups: (a) an RA instruction group, and (b) a non-instruction group. Following the methods of experiments in certain previous studies on RA, cloze tests were given to students in order to monitor their memory transition. The tests were conducted three times, as follows: (1) in April 2009 when they had entered the high school, (2) in June 2009 when the RA instruction group had learned 20 classroom English sentences over the course of five lessons, and (3) in December 2011 when they were the third grade students. The results of the retention rate showed that the students in the RA instruction group sustained a higher retention than those in the non-instruction group. This result and comments by students in the RA group indicate that the scaffolding by a teacher during lessons had long-term effects on students’ abilities in retaining classroom English sentences.

Keywords: classroom English sentences; reading aloud; TTS speech sounds; memory; English as a foreign language education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrset.2015.1331

*Corresponding Author