ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (6): 934-942.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00934

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L2 Speech Perception in Noise

YANG Xiaohu;ZHAO Yong   

  1. (1 School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China) (2 Institute of Social Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China)
  • Received:2013-10-11 Online:2014-06-15 Published:2014-06-15
  • Contact: YANG Xiaohu


Spoken communication in noise presents problems for all listeners, but is especially difficult in a second language (L2). Noise can produce energetic masking and informational masking that bring about adverse effects on the perception of speech sounds. L2 listeners often have more difficulties in understanding speech in the presence of noise than native listeners, and their performance varies according to noise types and levels and target sounds. They also show considerable individual differences in their performance, which are attributable to a wide range of factors. Moreover, native listeners are less accurate in perceiving foreign accented speech in noise than recognizing speech without accents. Inexperienced L2 listeners are more accurate at recognizing speech sounds with accents that are similar to their own, whereas experienced listeners show more flexibility in their perception.

Key words: noise, masking effect, speech perception, second language, first language