The effect of teaching prosody through visual feedback activities on oral reading skills in teaching Turkish as foreign language

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Ataturk University, Eğitim Bilimleri Enstitüsü, Türkçe ve Sosyal Bilimler Eğitimi Anabilim Dalı, Turkey

Approval Date: 2017

Thesis Language: Turkish


Supervisor: Muhsine Börekçi


The present study aimed to determine the effect of teaching prosody through visual feedback activities on oral reading skills of Turkish language learners. A mixed method approach was used in the study. The quantitative dimension of the study utilized a single group pre-test post-test experimental design, whereas, the qualitative dimension consisted of the data obtained from the interviews. The participant group included a convenient sample of 30 non-native students who had completed a certificate program at a Turkish Language Teaching Center affiliated to a state university and enrolled in undergraduate course work during the study period. Twenty-two of these students were Georgian and the rest were from the Republic of Yemen. The participants were provided with a 12-week-long training supported by Praat 6.0.01 voice analysis program. The training aimed at teaching the participants how to visualize accent, tone, focus, and pause features of their own voice recordings and compare them to model visuals provided by the researcher. The quantitative data of the study were obtained by evaluating the participants' voice recording while reading an anecdote (chosen with the help of expert opinions) and comparing their prosodic accuracy prior to and after taking the training. In addition, the qualitative data were obtained through semi-structured individual interviews with the participants. In order to provide a baseline for prosodic evaluation, three experts read aloud the anecdote using a voice recorder. Then, the audio recordings obtained from both the experts and participants were analyzed in terms of intonation, focus, pause, and reading rate by using the Praat 6.0.01 audio analysis program with customized plugins. The obtained quantitative data were subjected to paired groups t-test in SPSS 22 statistical program. Besides, the qualitative data obtained from interviews with the participants were subjected to content analysis. At the end of the study, it was found that teaching prosody through visual feedback activities has improved the participants' oral reading skills in terms of intonation, focus, pause and reading rate, and that the participants have expressed positive opinions about learning prosody through visual feedback activities. This has led to the conclusion that teaching prosody through visual feedback activities is effective in improving oral reading skills of those who learn Turkish as a foreign language. Keywords: Teaching Turkish as a foreign language, fluent reading, prosodic reading, intonation, focus, pause, reading rate, visual feedback.