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Swedish youths as listeners for diverse English accents: Discussing the method
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages. (BUV)
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division for Educational Science and Languages. (BUV)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1058-7637
2019 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish youth have received recognition for having high proficiency in English and for being highly motivated in learning English (Norrby, 2015). However, their accent preference and listening input are skewed towards certain Inner Circle Englishes, especially American English (AE) (Cabau, 2009), while it is not known if they are willing and/or capable of understanding a wide range of accents in globalised communication. Our study, to be commenced in early 2020, seeks to address this gap by investigating how Swedish youths are as listeners for diverse English accents. In this poster presentation, we will discuss the method of our study.

The method is experimental. We operationalise listener intelligibility (LI), listener comprehensibility (LC), accentedness perception (AP) and accentedness acceptance (AA), adapted from previous studies (e.g. Kennedy & Trofimovich, 2008; Munro & Derwing, 1995; Tulaja, 2019), as well as listener variables found to have influence on the listener perception (e.g. Kang & Rubin, 2014). The stimulus will be the recordings of five university lecturers (one AE L1 and four L2 speakers) reading the same texts – adapted from previous Swedish national English 6 tests and the 40 true/false sentences from Munro and Derwing (1995). Listeners will be five classes of high school students, and each class will listen to one of the five speakers’ readings. We will administer tests to determine LI, LC, AP, and AA, and a questionnaire to identify individual variables. The analysis will target the LI, LC, AP and AA for different speakers, their relationships, interaction between the effects of speakers and listener variables, and speakers’ phonetic features compromising LI. At this stage of the research process, we welcome feedback, particularly on the justification of speaker selection, instruments for measuring the four constructs and for identifying individual variables and ways to remove training effect in test administration.    

References

Cabau, B. (2009). The irresistible rise and hegemony of a linguistic fortress: English teaching in Sweden. International Multilingual Research Journal, 3(2), 134-152. doi:10.1080/19313150903073786

Kang, O., & Rubin, D. (2014). Listener expectations, reverse linguisticstereotyping, and individual background factors in social judgments and oral performance assessment. In A. Moyer & J. M. Levis (Eds.), Social dynamics in second language accent account (pp. 239-253). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton.

Kennedy, S., & Trofimovich, P. (2008). Intelligibility, comprehensibility, and accentedness of L2 speech: The role of listener experience and semantic context. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64(3), 459-489.

Munro, M., & Derwing, T. (1995). Foreign accent, comprehensibility, and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning, 45(1), 73-97. doi:10.1111/j.1467-1770.1995.tb00963.x

Norrby, C. (2015). English in Scandinavia: Monster or mate? Sweden as a case study. In J. Hajek & Y. Slaughter (Eds.), Challenging the monolingual mindset (pp. 17-32). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Tulaja, L. (2019). Pronunciation errors by German L2 Danish learners: Ratings in accentedness, comprehensibility and acceptability. Paper presented at the The New Sounds, Waseda, Japan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
English as a globalised language, listening competence for diverse English accents, attitudes towards diverse English accents, Swedish youths
National Category
Languages and Literature Educational Sciences
Research subject
Child and Youth studies; HUMANITIES, English; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Educational science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14740OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14740DiVA, id: diva2:1375706
Conference
L2 Pronunciation Research Symposium, November 6-7, 2019 at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Projects
BUV Project: the Swedish Youth as Listeners for Diverse English Accents
Note

The paper is part of a research project funded by BUV. 

Available from: 2019-12-05 Created: 2019-12-05 Last updated: 2019-12-17Bibliographically approved

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Elgemark, AnnaJeong, Hyeseung

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