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ERIC Number: EJ977046
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0155-0640
Listening between the Lines: Social Assumptions around Foreign Accents
Fraser, Catriona; Kelly, Barbara
Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, v35 n1 p74-93 2012
This paper investigates the effect of listener attitudes on the ability to understand a foreign (non-Australian) accent. The research focuses on individual listener characteristics, such as attitude and frequency of contact with accented speakers, rather than speech production. Data was collected through a web-based survey and analysis employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Correlation was found between a negative attitude toward other ethnicities and ability to correctly transcribe foreign-accented speech, with a stronger correlation between a negative attitude and comprehensibility. Qualitative analysis of participant comments highlighted discrepancies in attitude testing methods and indicated that an accent can inspire many assumptions, the most common being that foreign-accented speakers have a lower level of education than Australian-accented speakers. The results suggest that future research in this area should always try to account for individual participant characteristics.
Applied Linguistics Association of Australia. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia