PROFICIENCY AS A MEDIATING VARIABLE of INTELLIGIBILITY for DIFFERENT VARIETIES of ACCENTS

Okim Kang, Meghan Moran, Hyunkee Ahn, Soon Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Factors that affect comprehension of accented English (e.g., Harding, 2011) have been well studied, but little research examines how listeners' proficiency affects their sensitivity to second language (L2) accent. The current study investigated the effect of test takers' English proficiency on their comprehension ratings and ability to correctly transcribe different World Englishes accents. Ten speakers from six countries with different L1 backgrounds (i.e., North American, British, Indian, South African, Chinese, and Spanish) with varying degrees of intelligibility provided speech samples. Ninety-Two listeners from South Korea at three different proficiency levels listened to speech stimuli and determined their comprehension of the content as well as the intelligibility of the speech. The results showed that listeners were differentially affected by nonnative English accented varieties, based on both the intelligibility level of the speaker and the proficiency level of the listener. These findings have implications for the assessment and instruction of listening skills in global contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-487
Number of pages17
JournalStudies in Second Language Acquisition
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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