• Student attitudes toward accentedness of native and nonnative speaking English teachers

    SLS Working Papers (view group) , Laura Ballard
    Sehoon Jung, Megan Smith
    SLS Working Papers
    Applied linguistics, Second language acquisition
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    accent, attitudes, english as a second language, Student Behavior
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    The goal for this study was to examine participants’ familiarity with specific accents, whether participants were able to identify if a speaker was a native speaker (NS) or a non-native speaker (NNS), and what accent the speaker had. I also examined how the participants rated speakers on four Likert-scales of comprehensibility, intelligibility, accentedness, and acceptability as a teacher (the four dependent variables). I included 38 NS and 94 NNS participants from a range of first-language backgrounds. The participants listened to three NSs (Midwestern U.S., Southern U.S., and British) and two NNSs (Chinese and Albanian) and completed the identification and Likert-scale tasks outlined above. Results showed that NNSs were significantly less able than NSs to identify a speaker’s nativeness and accent. Results revealed that familiarity with an accent correlated with comprehensibility and acceptability as a teacher. For familiar accents, familiarity was a significant predictor of the participant ratings on the four dependent variables, though the predicted changes in ratings were small. Overall, participants had generally positive attitudes toward NNSETs; in relation to acceptability as a teacher, accent was the least influential of the dependent variables. I conclude by arguing that students should be exposed to a range of different accents, as familiarity with an accent facilitates comprehension. These findings also challenge current language center hiring practices that exclude NNSETs from jobs based on a non-native status; this study supports the notion that administrators should hire English language teachers based on professional credentials, and not based on accent.
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    Last Updated:
    1 year ago
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