Kazuya Saito

Kazuya Saito
University College London | UCL · Department of Culture, Communication and Media

Doctor of Philosophy

About

110
Publications
111,102
Reads
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4,355
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 2018 - present
University College London
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • My website http://kazuyasaito.net/
August 2015 - present
Birkbeck, University of London
Position
  • Lecturer
September 2012 - July 2015
Waseda University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (110)
Article
Full-text available
In the cognitive psychology literature, auditory processing has been extensively researched and suggested as a foundation of first language acquisition in childhood. This study tests an emerging theoretical view that the same faculty underpins post-pubertal L2 pronunciation learning. A total of 100 late English-Polish bilinguals in the UK with dive...
Article
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In this study, we propose a hypothesis that domain-general auditory processing, a perceptual-cognitive anchor of L1 acquisition, can serve as an important deciding factor for successful post-pubertal L2 pronunciation learning. To examine this hypothesis, samples of spontaneous speech were elicited from a total of 30 L1 Chinese L2 English learners a...
Article
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In this study, we propose a hypothesis that domain-general auditory processing, a perceptual anchor of L1 acquisition, can serve as the foundation of successful post-pubertal L2 learning. This hypothesis was tested with 139 post-pubertal L2 immersion learners by linking individual differences in auditory discrimination across multiple acoustic dime...
Article
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To date, a growing number of studies have shown that domain-general auditory processing, which prior work has linked to L1 acquisition, could explain various dimensions of naturalistic L2 speech proficiency. The current study examined the generalizability of this topic to L2 speech learning in classroom settings. The spontaneous speech samples of E...
Article
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We propose a new framework for conceptualizing measures of instructed second language (L2) pronunciation performance according to three sets of parameters: (a) the constructs (focused on global vs. specific aspects of pronunciation), (b) the scoring method (human raters vs. acoustic analyses), and (c) the type of knowledge elicited (controlled vs....
Article
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Although intelligibility is a core concept in second language (L2) speech assessment and teaching research, the vast majority of previous work relies on audio‐only stimuli. The current study set out to examine how linguistic and visual information jointly interact to determine the degree of speech intelligibility. Both first language (L1) and L2 En...
Article
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Scholars have extensively investigated the effectiveness of high variability phonetic training (HVPT), that is, identification and discrimination of second language speech sounds produced by multiple speakers followed by trial‐by‐trial feedback. Building on the notion of incidental and multimodal learning in cognitive psychology (e.g., Lim & Holt,...
Conference Paper
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We are organising a 1-day colloquium where London Second Language Acquisition Research Forum (L-SLARF) members will share ongoing research projects with students, researchers & the general public. The event will take place face-to-face & online. The event is free and open to all. Saturday May 21st 10:00-17:00 Room B35, Birkbeck, University London...
Article
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The world of applied linguistics and the profession of foreign language teaching needs to finally sweep away the notion of “Native Speaker” (NS) and the deficit perspective surrounding foreign language learners. We argue that Positive Psychology is a source of inspiration for a new and more positive perspective on foreign language learners and user...
Article
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The current study investigates how Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE), Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) and Attitude/motivation (AM) of 360 learners of English, German, French and Spanish in a Kuwaiti university was shaped over the course of one semester by three teacher behaviours: frequency of using the FL in class, predictability and freq...
Article
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Recently, scholars have begun to explore the hypothesis that individual differences in domain-general auditory perception, which has been identified as an anchor of L1 acquisition, could explain some variance in post-pubertal L2 learners' segmental and suprasegmental learning in immersive settings. The current study set out to examine the generaliz...
Article
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Extending the paradigm in L1 acquisition, scholars have begun to investigate whether participants' domain-general ability to represent, encode, and integrate spectral and temporal dimensions of sounds (i.e., auditory processing) could be a potential determinant of the outcomes of post-pubertal L2 speech learning. The current study set out to test t...
Article
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Whereas many scholars have emphasized the relative importance of comprehensibility as an ecologically valid goal for L2 speech training, testing, and development, eliciting listeners' judgements is time-consuming. Following calls for research on more efficient L2 speech rating methods in applied linguistics, and growing attention towards using mach...
Article
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This study examined how mode of input affects the learning of pronunciation and form-meaning connection of second language (L2) words. Seventy-five Japanese learners of English were randomly assigned to one of 3 conditions (reading-while-listening, reading-only, listening-only), studied 40 low-frequency words while viewing their corresponding pictu...
Article
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The current study set out to examine which segmental and suprasegmental factors discriminate different levels of global second language (L2) pronunciation proficiency. First, a total of 40 extemporaneous speech samples were elicited from Japanese learners of English with diverse experience/proficiency levels. Subsequently, experienced raters holist...
Article
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Growing evidence suggests that auditory processing ability may a crucial determinant of language learning, including adult second language (L2) speech learning. The current study tested 47 Chinese English-as-a-Foreign-Language students to examine the extent to which two types of auditory processing-perceptual acuity and audio-motor integration-rela...
Article
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This study examined the relationship between second language (L2) learners' collocation knowledge and oral proficiency. A new approach to measuring collocation was adopted by eliciting responses through a word association task and using corpus-based measures (absolute frequency count, t-score, MI score) to analyze the degree to which stimulus words...
Article
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The current study presents two meta-analyses to explore what underlies the assessment and teaching of comprehensible and nativelike pronunciation among English-as-a-Second-Language speakers. In Study 1, listener studies (n = 37) were retrieved examining the influence of segmental, prosodic, and temporal features on listeners’ intuitive judgements o...
Article
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Eighty Japanese learners of English as a foreign language encountered 40 target words in one of four experimental conditions (3 encounters, 6 encounters, 3 encounters with talker variability, and 6 encounters with talker variability). A picture-naming test was conducted three times (pretest, immediate posttest, and delayed posttest) and elicited sp...
Article
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Whereas scholars have extensively researched on the pedagogical potential of 4/3/2 activities (i.e., increasing time pressure in task repetition) for enhancing L2 fluency, its impact on second language (L2) accuracy remains unclear (e.g., Boers, 2014; Thai & Boers, 2016). To help L2 learners improve both fluency and accuracy, the present study exam...
Conference Paper
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This paper presents results of a joint project between an engineering team of a university and an educational team of another to develop an online fluency assessment system for Japanese learners of English. A picture description corpus of English spoken by 90 learners and 10 native speakers was used, where fluency was rated by other 10 native rater...
Article
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Whereas a growing amount of attention has been directed to the role of perceptual-cognitive aptitude in successful second language (L2) lexicogrammar learning, scholars have begun to investigate the same topic in the context of L2 pronunciation learning. To date, there is ongoing discussion on the mechanism underlying L2 speech learning in relation...
Article
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There is emerging evidence that collocation use plays a primary role in determining various dimensions of L2 oral proficiency assessment and development (e.g., Eguchi & Kyle, 2020; Kyle & Crossley, 2015; Saito, 2020). The current study presents the results of three experiments which examined the relationship between the degree of association in col...
Article
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Precise auditory perception at a subcortical level (neural representation and encoding of sound) has been suggested as a form of implicit L2 aptitude in naturalistic settings. Emerging evidence suggests that such implicit aptitude explains some variance in L2 speech perception and production among adult learners with different first language backgr...
Article
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Following the trends established in psychology and emerging in L2 research, we explain our support for an Open Science approach in this paper (i.e., developing, analyzing and sharing datasets) as a way to answer controversial and complex questions in applied linguistics. We illustrate this with a focus on a frequently debated question, what underli...
Preprint
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In this brief report, we examined the test-retest reliability of our in-house explicit auditory processing measures in the context of 30 L1 and L2 English users. The participants took the same test battery which consisted of a total of four discrimination tasks (encoding acoustic details of formant, pitch, duration, and rise time) and two reproduct...
Article
Following the trends established in psychology and emerging in L2 research, we explain our support for an Open Science approach in this paper (i.e., developing, analyzing and sharing datasets) as a way to answer controversial and complex questions in applied linguistics. We illustrate this with a focus on a frequently debated question, what underli...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined how longitudinal interaction impacts the development of second language (L2) oral proficiency in relation to learners’ different experience and proficiency levels. Japanese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) participated in weekly conversation exchanges with native speakers (NSs) in the USA via videoconferencing too...
Chapter
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Vocabulary knowledge is considered to be an essential component of L2 proficiency. To test this assumption, a great number of studies have thus far explored the relationship between vocabulary and language skills (e.g., reading). The current paper follows this line of research but focuses on the understudied relationship between vocabulary and spea...
Article
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The current study examines the role of cognitive and perceptual individual differences (i.e., aptitude) in second language (L2) pronunciation learning, when L2 learners’ varied experience background is controlled for. A total of 48 Chinese learners of English in the UK were assessed for their sensitivity to segmental and suprasegmental aspects of s...
Article
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While research has shown that provision of explicit pronunciation instruction (PI) is facilitative of various aspects of second language (L2) speech learning (Thomson & Derwing, 2015), a growing number of scholars have begun to examine which type of instruction can best impact on acquisition. In the current study, we explored the effects of percept...
Article
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The current study examined the degree to which collocation use (i.e., meaningful co-occurrences of multiple words) was related to L1 raters' intuitive judgements of L2 speech. Speech samples from a picture description task performed by eighty-five Japanese learners of English with varied L2 proficiency profiles were transcribed and assessed by 10 L...
Article
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Despite the status of English as the Lingua Franca of the world (Seidlhofer, 2011) and the growing number of L2 users (Pennycook, 2017), researchers have mostly investigated L2-accented English based on native speakers’ perceptions. In particular, a number of previous studies have looked at native English speakers’ perceptions of fluency (e.g., Bos...
Article
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The current study examines how second language (L2) users differentially assess the comprehensibility (i.e., ease of understanding) of foreign-accented speech according to a range of background variables, including first language (L1) profiles, L2 proficiency, age, experience, familiarity and metacognition. A total of 110 L2 listeners first evaluat...
Article
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Building up on Derwing and Munro, the current study set out to reexamine and generalize the Functional Load (FL) principle (Brown, 1988) as a tool to identify a set of relatively crucial segmental features for successful understanding in L2 communication. In Experiment 1, 40 Japanese learners of English in English-as-Foreign-Language settings engag...
Article
This study analyzed the contribution of lexical factors to native-speaking raters’ assessments of comprehensibility and nativeness in second language (L2) speech. Using transcribed samples to reduce non-lexical sources of bias, 10 naïve L1 English raters evaluated speech samples from 97 L2 English learners across two tasks (picture description and...
Article
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The current study longitudinally examined a crucial individual difference variable—i.e., awareness (operationalized as explicit attention and articulatory knowledge)—in adult second language (L2) speech learning in the context of 40 Japanese learners’ English /ɹ/ pronunciation development in an EFL classroom. The participants’ speech, elicited from...
Article
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The current study examined lexical aspects of second language (L2) speech attainment in the foreign language (FL) classroom setting (i.e., several hours of target language input per week). A total of 72 second-year university students with seven years of FL study and no experience abroad participated in the study. Their spontaneous speech was analy...
Article
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There is a great deal of individual variability in outcome in second language learning, the sources of which are still poorly understood. We hypothesized that individual differences in auditory processing may account for some variability in second language learning. We tested this hypothesis by examining psychoacoustic thresholds, auditory-motor te...
Article
Full-text available
The present study explores the relationship between Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE) and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) and a number of teachercentered variables within the Spanish classroom context. Participants were 210 former and current EFL learners from all over Spain who filled out an online questionnaire with Likert scale items. A...
Chapter
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Given that the pedagogical potential of corrective feedback (CF) for second language (L2) pronunciation development has received rapidly increasing interest in recent years (e.g., Saito & Lyster, 2012 in Language Learning), it is timely and prudent to provide a piece of scholarly work which focuses on synthesizing and presenting the current state o...
Article
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Building on the extensive work conceptualizing, developing, and validating foreign language aptitude for successful second language acquisition (e.g., Skehan, 2015 in Applied Linguistics), the current project expounded the cognitive abilities relevant and instrumental to adult Japanese classroom learners’ pronunciation attainment of English /ɹ/. Th...
Article
Full-text available
The present study explores the relationship between Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE) and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) and a number of teachercentered variables within the Spanish classroom context. Participants were 210 former and current EFL learners from all over Spain who filled out an online questionnaire with Likert scale items. A...
Article
Full-text available
This study presents a cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis of how 108 high school students in English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) classrooms enhanced the comprehensibility of their second language (L2) speech according to different motivation, emotion and experience profiles. Overall, the students' learning patterns were primarily associated w...
Article
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This study critically examined the previously reported partial independence between second language (L2) accentedness (degree to which L2 speech differs from the target variety) and comprehensibility (ease of understanding). In prior work, comprehensibility was linked to multiple linguistic dimensions of L2 speech (phonology, fluency, lexis, gramma...
Chapter
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This chapter presents an overview on three fundamental questions in regard to advanced second language (L2) segmental and suprasegmental acquisition. They include (a) how L2 learners improve and attain advanced L2 speech abilities through extensive and intensive immersion in a target language speaking environment (i.e., process); (b) the extent to...
Article
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The current study longitudinally examined the influence of aptitude on second language (L2) pronunciation development when 40 first-year Japanese university students engaged in practice activities inside and outside English-as-a-Foreign-Language classrooms over one academic year. Spontaneous speech samples were elicited at the beginning, middle and...
Article
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English version: The current study reexamines how second language speech perception and production are related in the context of the acquisition of English /ɹ/ by 45 adult Japanese learners with various proficiency levels. Perception was evaluated using a two-alternative forced choice identification task, while pronunciation performance was assesse...
Article
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In the context of 90 adult Japanese learners of English with diverse L2 experience and 10 native speakers, this study examined the linguistic characteristics and learner profiles of low, mid and high-level fluency performance. The participants’ spontaneous speech samples were first rated by 10 native listeners for global fluency on a 9-point scale...
Chapter
Full-text available
Among the many corrective feedback techniques at ESL/EFL teachers' disposal, recasting has been identified as the most frequent and preferred type of feedback in response to students' pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar errors. According to the extensive literature, recasts can be effectively used to help students improve their linguistic accura...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined the relationship between different type of language learning aptitude (measured via the LLAMA test) and adult second language (L2) speech production attainment in English-as-a-foreign-language (EFL) classrooms. Picture descriptions elicited from 50 Japanese EFL learners with varied proficiency levels were analyzed by a ra...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined phonological, temporal, lexical and grammatical correlates of native speakers' perception of second language (L2) comprehensibility (i.e., ease of understanding). L2 learners of Japanese with various proficiency levels engaged in oral picture description tasks which were judged by native speaking raters for comprehensibility, an...
Article
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The current study examined in depth the effects of suprasegmental-based instruction on the global (comprehensibility) and suprasegmental (word stress, rhythm, and intonation) development of 10 Japanese English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) learners. Students in the experimental group (n = 10) received a total of three hours of instruction over six we...
Article
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The purpose of this case study is twofold: it (1) explores multilingual raters' judgements regarding the accentedness and comprehensibility of second language speech and (2) examines how the raters' language backgrounds influence their judgements. In this study, six multilingual Singaporean raters judged the accentedness and comprehensibility of 50...
Article
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The current study examined the impact of video-based conversational interaction on the longitudinal development (one academic semester) of second language (L2) production by college-level Japanese English-as-a-foreign-language learners. Students in the experimental group engaged in weekly, dyadic conversation exchanges with native speakers in the U...
Article
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Positive psychology has boosted interest in the positive as well as the negative emotions that Foreign Language learners experience. The present study examines whether -and to what extent- foreign language enjoyment (FLE) and FL classroom anxiety (FLCA) are linked to a range of learner-internal variables and teacher/classroom-specific variables wit...
Article
Full-text available
The current study set out to examine the role of learner motivation in second language (L2) speech learning in English-as-a-Foreign-Language classrooms. The motivational orientations of 40 first-year university Japanese students were surveyed via a tailored questionnaire and linked to their spontaneous speech development, elicited via a timed pictu...
Article
Full-text available
In our precursor research (Saito & Akiyama, 2017 in Language Learning), we reported that one academic semester of video-based L2 interaction activity was facilitative of various dimensions of the Japanese learners’ spontaneous production ability development (e.g., comprehensibility, fluency and vocabulary). In this paper, we aimed to revisit the da...
Article
Full-text available
Among the many corrective feedback techniques at ESL/EFL teachers' disposal, recasting has been identified the most frequent and preferred type of feedback in response to students’ pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar errors. According to the extensive literature, recasts can be effectively used to help students improve their linguistic accuracy i...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated the extent to which L2 learners’ productive vocabulary knowledge could predict multiple dimensions of spontaneous speech production. A total of 39 EFL participants with varying L2 proficiency levels first completed a productive vocabulary knowledge task (Lex30). Their spontaneous speech, elicited via a series of pictu...
Article
Full-text available
The current study examined how two groups of native speakers—monolingual Canadians and multilingual Singaporeans—differentially perceive foreign accentedness in spontaneous second language (L2) speech. The Singaporean raters, who had exposure to various models of English and also spoke multiple L2s on a daily basis, demonstrated more lenient accent...
Article
Full-text available
The current project longitudinally investigated the extent to which first-year Japanese university students developed their second language (L2) oral ability in relation to increased input in foreign language classrooms. Their spontaneous speech was elicited at the beginning, middle and end of one academic year, and then judged by linguistically tr...
Presentation
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Researchers and practitioners alike have extensively debated what kinds of second language (L2) learners can successfully improve oral ability especially in foreign language settings, where the quantity and quality of input is substantially limited inside and outside classrooms (e.g., Japanese EFL classrooms). While introducing up-to-date research...
Conference Paper
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This colloquium aims to introduce Japanese EFL classrooms as an empirical testing ground for investigating the potential and limits of various pedagogical techniques from the longitudinal perspective. After a brief review on the current status of foreign language learning and teaching research (Saito), we will present three empirical studies that t...
Article
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The current study aimed to test how two different types of corrective feedback—recasts and prompts—can differentially affect the pronunciation development of English /ɹ/ by Korean learners in the context of simulated meaning-oriented classrooms receiving form-focused instruction (FFI). Twenty-two Korean learners of English as a foreign language wer...
Article
Full-text available
The current study investigated the extent to which L2 learners' productive vocabulary knowledge could predict multiple dimensions of spontaneous speech production. A total of 39 EFL participants with varying L2 proficiency levels first completed a productive vocabulary knowledge task (Lex30). Their spontaneous speech, elicited via a series of pictu...