1st Student's Major


1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

John Zehnder, a native of Mankato, Minnesota is a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato. John is majoring in Geography, with minors in Linguistics and Teaching ESL. John’s future aspiration in academia is to pursue a PhD in Linguistics with emphasis on phonology and language change.

Mentor's Name

Karen Lybeck

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department


Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities


This study examines the influence of social context on oral proficiency change among English language learners on the campus of an American university. Speech samples were taken from 2 rounds of interviews with 9 East Asian women. These were analyzed using the phonetic analysis program Praat in order to determine each speaker’s rate of stressed syllables at the beginning and end of the study. The change in these rates was used as a proxy for fluency change. This was then compared with each speaker’s social context. The results suggested that English language learners improve their fluency when they have at least one English-speaking friend and do not have a partner who shares their own native language.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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