The Effect of Using PRAAT Software on Pre-Intermediate EFL Learners’ Supra Segmental Features

Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

Abadan Branch, Islamic Azad University

Abstract

The present study investigated the effect of using PRAAT
as a free computer software package for the scientific analysis of speech in
phonetics on pre-intermediate Iranian English as foreign language (EFL)
learners’ supra segmental features (i.e., intonation and stress). The design of the study was a Quasi-experimental research design with a pre
and post-test. In doing so, 40 male and female majoring in English translation with the age ranging from 19 to 37 years old were selected. They
were studying EFL at the Islamic Azad University of Abadan, Iran. The
participants were selected among 55 students through the Oxford Placement Test (OPT) and their level of proficiency was determined as the
pre-intermediate level. Then they were divided into two experimental
and control groups through convenience sampling method. Then they
took a pre-test to evaluate their proficiency in supra segmental features
(i.e. intonation and stress). The control group (n= 20) was exposed to
the traditional method and the experimental group (n=20) was exposed
to the use of PRAAT software in learning supra segmental features
(i.e. intonation and stress). After the treatment sessions, both groups
took the post-test that was a modified pre-test. Data were analyzed
through Independent and Paired Samples t-tests. Result indicated the experimental group outperformed the control group. Implications of the
study suggest that the EFL teachers can use PRAAT software to teach
supra segmental features effectively.