Effects of mixed instruction on Chinese EFL learners' perception of phonemic contrasts

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-337
Journal / PublicationIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Issue number2
Online published3 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2022


This study investigated the impact of mixed instruction as compared with segmental instruction on Chinese English as a foreign language (EFL) learners' perception of English phonemic contrasts. Results of a discrimination test revealed that mixed instruction significantly improved the participants' performance to the same extent as the segmental instruction. Besides, the two types of instruction had the same impacts on the learners' perception of consonant contrasts and vowel contrasts. In addition, the learners were found to be bad at discriminating consonants contrasting place and vowels contrasting height. The comparable effect of the two types of instruction suggests that the mixed instruction was more efficient than the segmental instruction, as the latter focused solely on phonemes, while the former only devoted one-fourth of the time to phonemes. Based on these findings, we offer some pedagogical suggestions for L2 pronunciation teaching and learning in China and in similar contexts.

Research Area(s)

  • Chinese EFL learners, mixed instruction, perception, phonemic contrasts, segmental instruction