Varying Shades of Hearing
An Overview of Tone Perception Studies in L2 Mandarin Chinese
Keywords:Mandarin Chinese tone learning, tone perception, experiment design
This paper provides an overview of 18 studies from over five decades that have investigated L2 Mandarin Chinese tone perception and the factors influencing it. We examine (1) varying patterns of difficulty of L2 Chinese tone perception and (2) the experiment designs that researchers have used to assess their reported patterns of difficulty. This review delineates the complexity of the current picture of difficulty in L2 Chinese tone perception. By analyzing a set of key issues that this investigation has unveiled, we propose new directions for future research that can enhance experiment designs and pedagogical approaches to tone teaching, while illuminating their intimate connections.
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