Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages and Cultures

First Advisor

Atsushi Fukada

Committee Member 1

Mariko Wei

Committee Member 2

April Ginther


Even though there is a constant learners' need for pronunciation instruction in a Japanese language classroom, some teachers are hesitant to include pronunciation instruction due to time constrains or lack of knowledge on how to teach pronunciation. These problems occur due to the fact that pronunciation instructions were mostly conducted in classrooms. Computer-Assisted Language Learning is a great way to overcome these problems since learners can practice pronunciation through an online program outside of class. For this reason, this study was conducted outside of class using an online program. This research investigated the effectiveness of online oral practice on Japanese pitch accentuation and also, out of the three input methods implemented in the study, which input method enhances acquisition the most. Subjects were 171 first-year Japanese students and were divided into three treatment groups and a control group. Each treatment group received different treatments on pitch accentuation: A) pitch mark + text (hiragana) + video, B) text (hiragana) + video, C) video only. The treatment groups received a pretest, pitch accent practice, a posttest, and a delayed posttest. The control group also received a pretest, vocabulary practice unrelated to pitch accent, a posttest, and a delayed posttest. Also, students were asked to participate in a survey. The present research found that all of the online oral practice treatments were effective for acquiring correct pitch accentuation. It also revealed that having visual aids (pitch mark + text) on the screen in addition to video input significantly helped learners to acquire the accents better and retain them longer than not having any visual information. According to the survey, 95.19% of the participants perceived that pitch accent instruction was useful.