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This paper outlines the ongoing construction of a speech corpus for use by applied linguists and advanced EFL/ESL students. In the
first part, sections 1–4, the need for improvements in the teaching of listening skills and pronunciation practice for EFL/ESL students is noted.
It is argued that the use of authentic native-to-native speech is imperative in the teaching/learning process so as to promote social inclusion. The
arguments for authentic language learning material and the use of a speech corpus are contextualised within the literature, based mainly on the work of
Swan, Brown and McCarthy. The second part, section 5, addresses features of native speech flow which cause difficulties for EFL/ESL students (Brown,
Cauldwell) and establishes the need for improvements in the teaching of listening skills. Examples are given of reduced forms characteristic of
relaxed native speech, and how these can be made accessible for study using the Dublin Institute of Technology’s slow-down technology, which
gives students more time to study native speech features, without tonal distortion. The final part, sections 6–8, introduces a novel Speech
Corpus being developed at DIT. It shows the limits of traditional corpora and outlines the general requirements of a Speech Corpus. This tool –
which will satisfy the needs of teachers, learners and researchers – will link digitally recorded, natural, native-to-native speech so that each transcript
segment will give access to its associated sound file. Users will be able to locate desired speech strings, play, compare and contrast them – and slow them
down for more detailed study.
The effect of a thin Ta layer at the Ti/Si interface on the kinetic of the C49-C54 transition will be shown in detail. The transformation kinetic has been monitored by in situ sheet resistance measurements that, coupled to structural characterisation, allowed to evidence the presence of an intermediate phase before the C54 formation. The temperature of the C54 phase formation decreases with a Ta concentration of 4.5·1015 cm−2 and μ-Raman images of partially transformed samples indicates that the density of C54 grains in presence of Ta is about one order of magnitude higher with respect to pure Ti/Si samples.
MicroRaman measurements on titanium silicide films grown on single-crystal and polycrystalline silicon substrates doped with As, BF2 and P have been performed. The data collected on patterns of different areas and shapes, but comparable doping level show that the doping has negligible effects both on C54 nucleation center density and on activation energy for the C49/C54 phase transition. On the contrary, substrate strongly affects the C54 growth rate, ruling the ability of the C54 phase to propagate after the nucleation.
Sn centers are point defects easily formed by X-ray irradiation of Sn-doped silica. Point defects are a tool for assessing the substitutional character of the dopant in Sn-doped SiO2 glasses with different Sn content (SnO2/SiO2 ratio from 0.01 to 10.0 % w/w) and prepared by two sol-gel methods differing in tin precursors (tin tetraterbutoxide and tin dibutyldiacetate). The former method produced transparent crack-free monolithic glasses of Sn-doped silica with maximum tin content of 0.1 % (SnO2/SiO2 % w/w). The latter method is more efficient and produced transparent glasses with a tin content of 1%.
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