Do you hear what I hear? Listeners' perceptions of comprehensibility and accentedness in second language speech
Professor Talia Isaacs, University of Bristol, holder gæsteforelæsning.
Abstract in English
This presentation will broadly focus on the factors that listeners attend to when they listen to and rate two dimensions of second language (L2) speech (comprehensibility and accentedness) and the extent to which listeners' perceptions align with L2 speakers' productions.
Extrapolating on the widely-held view among applied linguists that the appropriate goal of L2 pronunciation instruction is not accent reduction but, rather, helping learners be comprehensible to their interlocutors (Derwing & Munro, 2009), the claim here is that "comprehensibility" (not "accentedness") is also the appropriate goal of L2 pronunciation assessment.
Implications for modelling comprehensibility in L2 oral proficiency scales and, particularly, for filtering out reference to a native-like accent at the high end of the scale will be examined in reference to an ongoing study on the development and validation of an empirically-based, pedagogically-oriented L2 comprehensibility scale.
The purpose of the scale is to provide university language teachers and administrators with a cost-efficient tool to address the oral communication needs of international students.
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