Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test?

The Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test is a diagnostic test or tool being designed to help teachers and learners of English as a Second or Foreign Language discover specific problem areas in the perception of spoken English. For more information, please keep reading.

Why focus on speech perception in pronuncation training?

There are several reasons why teachers and learners of English should focus on speech perception in pronunciation training:

  1. Speech perception plays an important role in the acquisition of pronunciation, as shown by Chan (2001), Flege and Eefting (1987), Ingram and Park (1997), Schneiderman, Bourdages, and Champagne (1988).
  2. Speech perception skills can be improved through training, as shown by Pennington (1998), Cenoz and Lecumberri (1999), Flege (1995), and Underbakke (1993).
  3. Research suggests that training in perception may help improve production, as well as perception, of certain sounds and intonation patterns.
  4. Speech perception plays an important role in self-monitoring. Self-monitoring has been deemed important by researchers (Acton, 1984; Morley, 1991) in successful language learning experiences.

For more information, see the complete literature review.

Is there a charge to use the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test?

Students
The Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test is free for students. Students can access all sections of the POSE Test with or without registering for an account. Registering for a free account lets the student see each of their attempts for each section, and be able to send their results to a teacher at a later date.

Teachers
Teachers do not need an account in order to use the POSE Test with their students. However, having a teacher account makes it easier to see all students results in one place and to see compiled results for groups of students. To see students' results, a teacher needs to purchase "seats".

Seats
Each seat is good for one year from the date of purchase, and can be used with multiple students, but only one student at a time. For example, if a teacher teaches one class each semester, with 20 students, they could purchase 20 seats, and add the 20 students in their class to their teacher account. Then, at the beginning of the next semester, they could remove the previous 20 students from their account, which frees up those 20 seats to use with their new students.

Seats cost about $1 each. Teachers can get a slight discount by purchasing more seats at one time as outlined below. For teachers who need to purchase more than 50 seats can contact us at the "Contact" link below.

20 seats $20.00 (USD)  
30 seats $28.00 (USD) (7% discount)
40 seats $34.00 (USD) (15% discount)
50 seats $40.00 (USD) (20% discount)

How is the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test different?

The Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test focuses on five major aspects of spoken English:

  1. vowels
  2. consonants
  3. word stress
  4. intonation (sentence-final)
  5. sentence stress

Most materials available for diagnosing speech perception problems focus either on segmentals (vowels and consonants), or suprasegmentals (word stress, intonation, and/or sentence stress) only. The POSE test is different because it focuses on both segmentals and suprasegmentals.

The POSE test also includes at least 2 items (and in most cases 4 items) for each vowel or consonant sound, and intonation or stress pattern. This is more than other existing speech perception tests. While this increases the amount of time needed to complete each section of the test, it provides a more accurate diagnosis of problem areas than test with only 1 or 2 items in each aspect.

Finally, the POSE test is computer based and delivered via the Internet. This allows many more people to access it easily. It also requires less time on the part of the teacher to administer and score the test. The items are presented in a randomized order, so it is possible for a single student to take the test several times without repeating items in the same order and thus the POSE test can be used to check progress in problem areas, as well as diagnosing those problem areas initially.

What equipment do I need before I can make use of the POSE Test?

The POSE Test is delivered via the Internet. The following equipment are required to use the POSE Test:

  • a computer with a keyboard and a mouse
  • an Internet browser application (e.g. Chrome, Safari, etc.) with the following features:
    • Javascript enabled
    • HTML 5 enabled
    • You must be able to see images in your internet browser.
  • an Internet connection
  • a sound card
  • speakers or headphones (a microphone is NOT required)

This is only a brief list. If you need more information, or would like to test your browser for JavaScript or HTML 5 capabilities, please visit our System Requirements page.

How can I use the results of the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test?

There are many benefits to the POSE test. Perhaps the biggest benefit of seeing the results is an enhanced awareness among learners of English of speech perception, their specific problem areas, and how those problem areas affect their spoken communication in English.

Teachers can use the results of each section to help guide them as they plan activities to help their students improve their speech perception and/or production skills. Students can use the results to help build their awareness of their specific problem areas and then focus on those areas as they interact in spoken English.

To see examples of the results pages, or to see how to interpret and use the results of the POSE Test, please visit our results page explanation.

How accurate is the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test?

The POSE Test was piloted during its initial development stages, and a detailed report of the results of the pilot is contained in the original thesis document (see below for the link). There is not space to include the detailed results here. The pilot stage was influenced by a low availability of students from each language group. Thus, specific conclusions could not be drawn from the data obtained. However, the POSE Test was generally accurate at diagnosing speech perception problem areas for the language groups that participated in the pilot. The accuracy of the POSE Test is continually being evaluated. It is hoped that more specific information regarding the accuracy of the POSE Test will be available soon.

The current version of the POSE Test is available online. If you have a large number of students from a single language group, we would appreciate your help in research that will help determine how effective the POSE Test is at diagnosing speech perception problems. Thank you.

Where can I learn more about the Perception of Spoken English (POSE) Test?

To preview the individual sections of the POSE Test, please click on the Preview link at the bottom of this page.

The POSE Test began as a Master's Thesis/Project at Brigham Young University. For more information, please see the original document entitled "Hearing the difference: A computer-based speech-perception diagnostic tool for non-native speakers of English" by Justin R. Shewell (http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/ETD/image/etd456.pdf).

If you have specific questions and cannot find the answers on our website, or in the original thesis document, please feel free to contact us by visiting our contact page.