INVESTIGATING THE CASE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE USERS PRESERVING THEIR L1 ACCENT WITH REGARD TO GENDER

Abstract

Author(s): Masood ESTEKI, Mohsen REZAZADEH

A ubiquitous phenomenon observed in the oral performance of foreign learners of English throughout different settings is speaking the L2 with some sort of accentuated articulation. The importance of accent, the emphasis being here on speaking English with a standard accent, is often neglected by those teachers who deemphasize its role in the whole process of learning a foreign/second language. Thus, the present study concerns language learners’ perception of their own accent and the consequences of speaking with an exotic accent. In this vein, the two variables of gender and the proficiency level of the learners were taken into account. To this aim, data were collected from thirty language learners of both sexes studying at the advanced level of proficiency in a Language Institute of Khomeiny Shahr. The results of a data analysis done after conducting an interview with the subjects alongside assessing the results of a questionnaire indicate that the female subjects preoccupation due to the hampering effects of their foreign accent while speaking in L2 is more than their male counterparts. It was also found that when they were asked if they are being assessed differently by their peers or language learners in the institutes of Isfahan City, over two thirds answered yes.

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