There are two purposes of this pilot study. The first one was to find out if there is a "Critical Period" (CP) for acquiring native or native-like pronunciation of L2 through investigating the English pronunciation of ESL children and teenagers whose first language is Mandarin. Although the results of this study tended to support CP hypothesis, there might be some other reasons other than age factor for the phenomenon that ESL children's pronunciation is better than ESL teenagers'. The second purpose is to test two opposite hypotheses about L2 pronunciation: "Contrastive Analysis" vs. Flege's "Speech Learning Model" (SLM). Based on the results, the writer could not favor one over the other. It demonstrated that this pilot study needed to be modified to the extent that these two hypotheses can be tested. There were some suggestions made to improve this pilot study.
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