A Study of Accentedness in the Speech of Chinese EFL Learners

Jingna LI, Yao WANG


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.


Accentedness; Perception; Comprehension; Attitudes

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End notes

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.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.css.1923669720130905.2799


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