Our Voices/Nuestras Voces is a collaborative project that focuses on second language acquisition of pronunciation. Within this broad field, we are particularly interested in the process of learning the sounds of second language (L2) Spanish by English native speakers (L1). Our Voices/Nuestras Voces is at its core a research enterprise but it is also concerned with aspects of teaching, especially in terms of L2 pronunciation. In fact, we view Our Voices/Nuestras Voces as stemming from the question of how to integrate research and teaching in a way that is productive for all the stakeholders, i.e. learners and researchers. Interestingly, most of our team members have a double identity as L2 learners/students and researchers, and they bring a unique perspective to the project: they are learning an L2 and this experience informs their work and approach as researchers. The name of the project comes from this: we are exploring our voices as L2 learners.
The team is led by professor Rebeka Campos-Astorkiza. Other members include undergraduate and graduate students (see Team Members section). We bring different levels of knowledge to the project and this lends itself for mentoring opportunities within the group. The diverse background of our members will be reflected in the entries as each of us writes from their perspective.
On the origins of Our Voices/Nuestras Voces
In order to understand the research questions and methodologies that we pursue in Our Voices/Nuestras Voces, it is important to be aware of the ignitor of the project. See your Speech, developed by Professor Kathryn Campbell-Kibler, integrates research and teaching through the use of undergraduate class modules that target certain linguistic phenomena and help create data for researchers. While the initial focus was identity and language change manifested in undergraduates’ English, the project See your Speech developed a module to be incorporated in Spanish classes, more precisely in our Spanish Pronunciation course. The data gathered via this module, including both English and Spanish, comprises the main database that we in Our Voices/Nuestras Voces use to research second language acquisition of sounds. A detailed explanation of this module can be found in one of our entries.