15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003

Is it Possible to Predict Students' Ability to Develop Skills in Practical Phonetics?

Janet Mackenzie Beck

Queen Margaret University College, UK

Predicting ability to develop skills in practical phonetics is of particular importance for Speech and Language Therapy (SLT), where these skills are an integral part of clinical practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of two screening tests to predict later student performance in practical phonetics. SLT students with no previous phonetics training were asked to complete two tests on entry to the course: a test of phonetic skill and a test of musical aptitude. Results indicate that both tests have some predictive power, but that selection on the basis of pre-tests alone would have excluded some students who subsequently achieved near- or above-average marks in phonetics exams. The musical aptitude test is at least as effective as the phonetics test in predicting later phonetic ability.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Beck, Janet Mackenzie (2003): "Is it possible to predict students' ability to develop skills in practical phonetics?", In ICPhS-15, 2833-2836.