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Second language vocabulary level is related to benefits for second language listening comprehension under lower reverberation time conditions
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4947-4579
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. (Environmental Psychology)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2730-7200
Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. (Environmental Psychology)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4298-7459
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2019 (English)In: Journal of Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 2044-5911, E-ISSN 2044-592X, Vol. 31, no 2, p. 175-185Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The acoustic qualities of a room can have a deleterious effect on the quality of speech signals. The acoustic measurement of reverberation time (RT) has shown to impact second language (L2) speech comprehension positively when lower due to release from spectral and temporal masking effects as well as top-down processing factors. This auralization experiment investigated the benefits of better L2 vocabulary and executive function (updating) skills during L2 listening comprehension tests under shorter versus longer RT conditions (0.3 and 0.9 s). 57 bilingual university students undertook L2 vocabulary, number updating and L2 listening comprehension tests. After splitting groups into high/low vocabulary and updating groups, a mixed ANOVA was conducted. The high number updating group showed no significant differences or interactions in L2 listening comprehension than the lower number updating group across RT conditions. The high vocabulary group had 22% better L2 listening comprehension than the low vocabulary group in long RT, and 9% better in short RT. A significant benefit in L2 listening comprehension due to release from reverberation was only evident in the high vocabulary group. Results indicate that the benefit of good room acoustics for listening comprehension is greatest for those with better language (vocabulary) ability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 31, no 2, p. 175-185
Keywords [en]
Reverberation time, Listening comprehension, Second language
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
no Strategic Research Area (SFO)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29173DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2019.1575387ISI: 000461550600004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85060842774OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29173DiVA, id: diva2:1282574
Funder
EU, European Research Council, FP7/2007-2013EU, European Research Council, FP7-607139Available from: 2019-01-25 Created: 2019-01-25 Last updated: 2024-04-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of environmental acoustic factors, individual differences and musical training on speech perception in simulated classrooms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of environmental acoustic factors, individual differences and musical training on speech perception in simulated classrooms
2020 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Formal learning takes place primarily through speech perception in classroom environments and is therefore dependent on the listener’s ability to cope with a number of acoustic factors that interfere with the speech signal. As classrooms are inclusive spaces accommodating learners with a broad range of abilities and backgrounds, this research investigated some of the ways in which individual differences in supporting cognitive skills are related to speech perception outcomes in various challenging acoustic environments. A potential avenue for the remediation of speech perception problems was also investigated. Studies comparing trained musicians’ with non-musicians’ speech perception have consistently shown a “musicians’ advantage” for speech-in-noise tasks, therefore this research longitudinally investigated whether one year of musical training was capable of producing improved speech perception thresholds in children. Therefore, the first three studies investigated relationships between the cognitive abilities of the listener and speech perception under various challenging environmental conditions, and the final study reported whether a year of musical training was able to produce learning effects generalizable to speech perception in the same challenging auditory environments tested in the two preceding experiments. Tests involved attending to a target talker underexperimental conditions in which the target signal was increasingly difficult todiscern either by lengthening reverberation time or by adding noise (i.e., competing sounds or talkers). In the second, third and fourth studies, the configuration of target and noise sources in the simulated room were manipulated to be either collocated or spatially separated from one-another. In order to additionally explore the relationship between speech perception and underlying cognitive processes, a number of measures were taken including phonological working memory capacity (number updating, digit span) and language assessments (vocabulary, expressive language) and analysed in relation to speech perception outcomes under the various experimental conditions. In all four studies, speech perception was tested in virtual classroom environments that were simulated based on actual classroom acoustic measurements taken in participating Swedish schools. The cumulative findings of this body of work linked differences in language ability, background and performance on various cognitive tests to speech perception thresholds, suggesting that not all learners are on equal footing in the classroom environment. However, musical training of the intensity and duration provided was unable to improve group performanceon speech perception or cognitive measures.

Abstract [sv]

En stor del av elevers inlärning sker via katederundervisning i klassrumsmiljöer och är därför beroende av lyssnarens förmåga att hantera ett flertal akustiska faktorer som stör talsignalen. Klassrum är inkluderande lokaler som skall tillmötesgå elever med en bred variation av förmågor och bakgrunder. Denna avhandling sammankopplar individuella skillnader inom kognitiva förmågor med resultat av taluppfattning i utmanande akustiska miljöer. Även en intervention med syfte att förbättra elevers taluppfattning undersöktes. Tidigare studier som jämför musikers och icke-musikers taluppfattning har konsekvent visat fördelar bland musiker inom uppgifter gällande taluppfattning i konkurrerande bakgrundsljud. Därför genomfördes en longitudinell studie med ett årsmusikalisk träning i syfte att förbättra taluppfattningströskeln hos unga elever. De tre första studierna som presenteras i denna avhandling undersökte förhållandena mellan kognitiva förmågor hos lyssnaren och taluppfattning under utmanande ljudmiljöer. Den sista studien undersökte huruvida ett år av musikalisk träning kan skapa inlärningseffekter generaliserbara till taluppfattning i samma utmanande auditiva miljöer som testades i de tre tidigare experimenten. Studiedeltagarna lyssnade till en talare under experimentella förhållanden där förmågan att uppfatta talaren påverkades av antingen förlängd efterklangstid eller adderade bakgrundsljud (till exempel störande ljud eller andra talare). I studie två, tre och fyra manipulerades även talarens och bakgrundsljudets position i det simulerade rummet till att antingen komma från samma positioneller från olika riktningar. För att dessutom utforska förhållandet mellan taluppfattning och underliggande kognitiva processer analyserades ett antal kognitiva förmågor i relation till taluppfattningsresultaten under de olika experimentella förhållandena. I alla fyra studier testades taluppfattning i virtuella klassrumsmiljöer som simulerades utifrån verkliga akustiska mätningar från svenska skolor. De kumulativa resultaten i detta arbete sammankopplade svårigheter i språkförmåga, bakgrund samt prestation i flertalet kognitiva tester med taluppfattningströsklar. Resultaten visar att alla elever inte har en likvärdig grund i klassrumsmiljön. Resultaten från interventionsstudien gav inget stöd för att musikalisk träning ger positiv effekt på taluppfattning, möjligtvis var typen av musikalisk träning och längden av den musikaliska träningen i experimentet inte tillräcklig för att förbättra deltagarnas prestation i taluppfattning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press, 2020. p. 37
Series
Doctoral thesis ; 15
Keywords
speech in noise, cognition, perception, musical training, spatial listening, virtual classroom environment, bakgrundsljud, kognition, taluppfattning, musikalisk träning, rumsligt lyssnande, virtuella klassrumsmiljöer
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Sustainable Urban Development
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-33359 (URN)978-91-88145-48-2 (ISBN)978-91-88145-49-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2020-10-15, 12:108, Kungsbäcksvägen 37, Gävle, 11:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2020-09-21 Created: 2020-08-21 Last updated: 2021-02-17

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MacCutcheon, DouglasHurtig, AndersHygge, StaffanLjung, Robert

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