Exploring Natural Speech Accommodation in L1-L2 Interactions
Implications for Pedagogy
Keywords:clear speech, rapport, proficiency, language acquisition, foreigner-directed speech
Second language (L2) speech accommodation involves adjusting one’s speech when communicating with non-native speakers of a language. This can include speaking more slowly and clearly, exaggerating vowels, and using simpler language. While L2 speech accommodation can be an important tool for language teachers to help students learn, inappropriate accommodation can hinder the learning process. Previous studies on L2 speech accommodation have mainly relied on observational data obtained in classroom settings, limiting our knowledge about the natural use of accommodation during interactions. In this study, we designed an experiment to investigate L2 accommodation in a more natural, ecologically valid setting. We analyzed conversational sequences between L1 English speakers and L2 speakers of English while they played a cooperative computer game. Our results show that L1 speakers adjust their speech when talking to L2 speakers. Specifically, they tend to choose words of higher frequency and great contextual diversity, and they tend to speak louder compared to L1 speakers. Additionally, the relationship between speech accommodation and anxiety reveals affective connections between participants. These findings indicate that teaching pedagogy that instructs speech accommodation should be rooted in the communicative needs of the students in the classroom. However, more research is needed to increase awareness of natural L2 speech accommodation and to develop appropriate pedagogic guidelines.
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Copyright (c) 2024 Rose Patricia Baker, Kristin Mello, Hannah Ragsdale, Kathrin Rothermich, Susan Bobb
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.