A Study of Accentedness in the Speech of Chinese EFL Learners
This paper investigates accentedness in the speech of Chinese learners of English as a foreign language (EFL). 20 native English listeners rate for accentedness, comprehensibility and intelligibility after listening to 30 sentences produced by 28 Chinese EFL learners and 2 native English speakers. Through the rating task and a questionnaire, the study reveals: a) that among different aspects of pronunciation, prosodic features have a significant correlation with accentedness; moreover, they play the most important role in affecting comprehension of accented speech; b) that there is a significant negative correlation between accentedness and comprehension of accented speech; and c) that the English native speakers hold a fairly tolerant and postive attitude towards accentedness. Pedagogical implications of the study are discussed to shed light on English Phonetics teaching.
1. The selected sentences are from the following textbooks:
He, S. (1997). Practical English phonetics. Beijing: Beijing Normal University Press.
Roach, P. (1991). English phonetics and phonology: a practical course. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Zhang, G. & Sun, J. (1996). Practical guide to American pronunciation and intonation. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
2. During this paper writing, the first author conducted the experiment and wrote the paper, and the second author recorded the sentences and revised the paper.
Anderson-Hsieh, J., & Koehler, K. (1988). The effect of foreign accent and speaking rate on native speaker comprehension. Language Learning, 38(4), 561-613.
Anderson-Hsieh, J., Johnson, R., & Koehler, K. (1992). The relationship between native speaker judgments of nonnative pronunciation and deviance in Segmentals, prosody and syllable structure. Language Learning, 42(4), 529-555.
Brennan, E. M., & Brennan, J. S. (1981a). Accent scaling and language attitudes: Reactions to Mexican American English speech. Language and Speech, 24(3), 207-221.
Brennan, E. M., & Brennan, J. S. (1981b). Measurements of accent and attitude toward Mexican-American speech. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 10(5), 487-501.
Bussmann, H. (1996). Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics. London: Routledge.
Chen, H. (2008). On Chinese EFL learner’s English intonation patterns. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
Derwing, T., & Munro, M. (1997). Accent, intelligibility and comprehensibility: Evidence from four L1s. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19(1), 1-16.
Derwing, T., & Munro, M., & Wiebe, G. (1998). Evidence in favor of a broad framework for pronunciation instruction. Language Learning, 48(3), 393-410.
Fayer, J. M., & Krasinski, E. (1987). Native and nonnative judgments of intelligibility and irritation. Language Learning, 37(3), 313-326.
Gass, S., & Varonis, E. M. (1984). The effect of familiarity on the comprehensibility of nonnative speech. Language Learning, 34(1), 65-89.
Mareüil, p.& Vieru-Dimulescu, B. (2006). The contribution of prosody to the perception of foreign accent. Phonetica, 63(4), 247-267.
Munro, M. (1998). The effects of noise on the intelligibility of foreign-accented speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 20(2), 139-154.
Munro, M. (2003a). A primer on accent discrimination in the Canadian context. TESL Canada Journal, 20(2), 38-51.
Munro, M. (2003b). What do ESL students say about their accents? Canadian Modern Language Review, 59(4), 547-567.
Munro, M., & Derwing, T. (1995). Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning, 45(1), 73-97.
Sato, C. J. (1991). Sociolinguistic variation and language attitudes in Hawaii. In J. Cheshire (Ed.), English around the world: sociolinguistic perspectives (pp.647-663). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Smith, L. E. (1992). Spread of English and issues of intelligibility. In Kachru, B. B. (ed.), The other tongue: English across cultures (2nd ed., pp.75-90). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
Varonis, E. M., & Gass, S. (1982). The comprehensibility of nonnative speech. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 4(2), 114-136.
- There are currently no refbacks.
If you have already registered in Journal A and plan to submit article(s) to Journal B, please click the CATEGORIES, or JOURNALS A-Z on the right side of the "HOME".
We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture
Address: 730, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138