This study investigated the effect of different types of phonetic training on potential changes in the production and perception of English vowels by Arabic learners of English. Forty-six Arabic learners of English were randomly assigned to one of three high variability vowel training programs: Perception training (High Variability Phonetic Training), Production training, and a Hybrid Training program (production and perception training). Pre- and post-tests (vowel identification, category discrimination, speech recognition in noise, and vowel production) showed that all training types led to improvements in perception and production. There was some evidence that improvements were linked to training type: learners in the Perception Training condition improved in vowel identification but not vowel production, while those in the Production Training condition showed only small improvements in performance on perceptual tasks, but greater improvement in production. However, the effects of training modality were complicated by proficiency, with high proficiency learners benefitting more from different types of training regardless of training mode than lower proficiency learners.

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