While Smith's theory of the invisible hand has yet to be fully adopted, Ricardo's theory of the comparative advantage is more obvious now than it has ever been.
Like skin color or attire, accent is a characteristic we routinely use to identify someone as unfamiliar or foreign. But while most people understand that discrimination based on visual appearance is wrong, bias against foreign speech patterns is not universally recognized as a form of prejudice.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of prohibits discrimination based on national origin, but is mum on the subject of accent bias.
Moreover, employers who deny jobs to non-native speakers can protect themselves by arguing that a foreign accent impairs communication skills essential to the workplace. So why do foreign accents still get a bad rap in the ostensibly open-minded oasis of academia and beyond?
And this, they found, causes people to doubt the accuracy of what is said. Not surprisingly, people prefer stimuli that are easy to process to those that are hard. In recent years, psychologists have explored the surprising extent to which our preference for the easy influences our thinking.
A good test case for this idea would be a speaker who is simply delivering a message from a native speaker. If people find the message less believable when the messenger has an accent, then the judged credibility is impacted by the cognitive fluency associated with processing speech, not by prejudice.
Lev-Ari and Keysar put this idea to the test in a simple experiment. They asked people to judge the truthfulness of trivia statements were recited by either native or non-native English speakers.
A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can. The non-native speakers had mild or heavy Asian, European, or Middle Eastern accents.
The subjects were told that all the statements had been written by the researchers but, still, the subjects tended to doubt them more when recited with an accent. Statements were still judged as less truthful when spoken in heavy than native accents, although participants were able to correct their judgments for mild accents.
These findings have important implications for how people perceive non-native speakers of a language, particularly as mobility increases in the modern world, leading millions of people to be non-native speakers of the language they use daily.
Instead of perceiving their speech as harder to understand, natives are prone to perceive their statements as less truthful. Consequently accent might reduce the credibility of non-native job seekers, court eyewitnesses, or college instructors for reasons that have nothing to do with xenophobia per se.
But the ramifications of cognitive fluency are not all bleak for the intrepid immigrant and international visitor. In effect, making people work harder to process the test questions made them less likely to make careless mistakes.
College students, take heed: Are you a scientist?
Have you recently read a peer-reviewed paper that you want to write about? He can be reached at garethideas AT gmail.
His research explores the strategies people use to overcome communication challenges and stereotyping in social interaction. Her research interests include interracial and intergroup communication, and the communication of stereotyping and prejudice.Accent and academic listening assessment: A study of test‐taker perceptions - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
This study investigated test‐taker perceptions of an academic listening test with diverse accented speakers. Why the Brain Doubts a Foreign Accent What happens in the brain when you hear an accent--and why you are less likely to trust the speaker By Matthew S.
McGlone, Barbara Breckinridge on September. I don't think it would. Hay et al. (; ) found that native English speakers of dialects which merge phonemes could distinguish between merging or merged phonemes (such as the caught-cot merger in AmE and bear-beer merger in NZE) with varying but usually better than at-chance performance in perception.
IELTS Speaking Test Part 1 Questions & Answers In part 1 of the IELTS Speaking test the examiner will ask you some simple questions on topics which are familiar to you. These questions are generally easy to answer because they are about you, your studies, your work, your family and where you live.
Second-language phonology (Redirected from Second language phonology) This article is written like a personal reflection, personal essay, or argumentative essay that states a Wikipedia editor's personal feelings or presents an original argument about a topic.
Teaching Pronunciation to Adult English. Language Learners.
Kirsten Schaetzel, Georgetown Law Center, Washington, DC “listener’s perception of how different a speaker’s accent is from that of the L1 [first language or, in our situation, American English] community” (p. ). Many adult learners of English have foreign accents that.