KATE Journal
Online ISSN : 2432-7409
Print ISSN : 2185-8993
ISSN-L : 2185-8993
The Accuracy of Phonological Decoding Skill Among Japanese EFL Learners
Evidence From a Lexical Decision Task
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2016 Volume 30 Pages 113-126


Phonological decoding skill has proved to be an important factor in word recognition. However, its accuracy in the field of second language acquisition has not been adequately investigated. This study examined the details of phonological decoding skill in English. Sixty Japanese undergraduate and graduate students judged the lexicalities of sixty target words (Consonant vs. Vowel vs. Nonword condition) in an assigned lexical decision task. The results showed that response times were significantly longer for Consonant and Vowel conditions compared to Nonword condition, confirming that the participants possessed phonological decoding skill of consonants and vowels and employed such skill when making their lexical decisions. The results also suggested that there was no significant difference in terms of accuracy between the participants’ phonological decoding skill of consonants and that of vowels. In addition, error analysis revealed a number of factors related to high and low error rates: (a) the influence of the romaji writing system, (b) English sounds that are not differentiated in Japanese (e.g., /r/ and /l/), (c) sounds with the same pronunciation but different spelling (e.g., /ce/ and /se/), (d) variation in the spellings of the schwa sound, (e) high level of word familiarity, and (f) ease of visual recognition.

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© 2016 Kantokoshinetsu Association of Teachers of English
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