ERIC Number: ED372653
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Native Speakers' Perceptions of Nonnative Speakers: Related to Phonetic Errors and Spoken Grammatical Errors.
Johnson, Ruth; Jenks, Frederick L.
A study investigated the perceptions of native English-speakers concerning the spoken grammatical and phonetic (accent) errors of non-native speakers. Speech samples were collected from three non-native speakers of English of varied linguistic backgrounds (German, Spanish, and Arabic) and one speaker of North American English. Each of the four speakers recorded two speech samples, one containing a grammatical error only and one containing a phonetic error only. A group of 124 Florida college freshmen then heard the speech samples and completed a semantic differential scale questionnaire for each. Analysis revealed significant differences in reactions across languages and error types. Phonetic error was rated lower than grammatical error, despite the fact that grammatical errors sometimes obscured meaning while phonetic errors did not. Spanish and German accents were rated about the same, but the Arabic accent was rated lower than the others. It is suggested that American students be taught greater tolerance of international students' speech. The appendix includes one table and two graphs. Contains 38 references. (MSE)
Descriptors: Arabic, English (Second Language), Error Patterns, German, Grammar, Grammatical Acceptability, Interference (Language), Language Attitudes, Language Research, Language Variation, Native Speakers, North American English, Oral Language, Phonetics, Spanish, Speech Skills, Standard Spoken Usage, Surveys
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (28th, Baltimore, MD, March 8-12, 1994).