Factors that enhance English-speaking speech-language pathologists' transcription of Cantonese-speaking children's consonants

Rebekah Lockart, Sharynne McLeod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


The aim was to investigate speech-language pathology students' ability to identify errors and transcribe typical and atypical speech in Cantonese, a non-native language. Method. Thirty three English-speaking students completed three tasks in an experimental within subjects design.Results. Task 1 (baseline) involved transcribing English words. In Task 2 participants transcribed 25 words spoken by a Cantonese adult. An average of 59.1% consonants was transcribed correctly (72.9% when Cantonese-English transfer patterns were allowed). There was higher accuracy on shared English and Cantonese syllable-initial consonants /m,n,f,s,h,j,w,l/ and syllable-final consonants. In Task 3 participants identified consonant errors and transcribed 100 words spoken by Cantonese-speaking children under four additive conditions: 1) baseline, 2) +adult model, 3) +information about Cantonese phonology, 4) all variables (2 and 3 were counterbalanced). There was a significant improvement in identification and transcription scores for conditions 2, 3 and 4 with a moderate effect size. Increased skill was not based on listeners' proficiency in speaking another language, perceived transcription skill, musicality, or confidence with multilingual clients. Conclusion. SLP students, with no exposure to or specific training in Cantonese, have some skills to identify errors and transcribe Cantonese. Provision of a Cantonese-adult model and information about Cantonese phonology increased accuracy in transcribing Cantonese speech.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-539
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Grant Number

  • FT0990588


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