Teaching a Foreign Language? Best Teach in the Accent of the Listener
ScienceDaily (Feb. 17, 2010) — Perception of second language speech is easier when it is spoken in the accent of the listener and not in the 'original' accent of that language, shows a new study from the University of Haifa. The study was published in the Journal of Psycholinguistic Research.
Many adult schools teaching second languages insist on exposing their students to the languages in their 'original' accents. However, this new study, carried out by Dr. Raphiq Ibrahim and Dr. Mark Leikin of the University of Haifa's Edmond J. Safra Brain Research Center for the Study of Learning Disabilities, Prof. Zohar Eviatar of the Department of Psychology and Prof. Shimon Sapir of the Department of Learning Disabilities, found that this system is not necessarily the best and certainly not the most expeditious.
The present study set out to reveal the level of phonological information that the adult learner requires in order to identify words in a second language that had been learned at a later age, and whether the level of phonological information that they require varies when the words are pronounced in different accents.
Do you agree with this?
Do you think you would then understand the natives' accent when talking to them?
Why does this seem to work better for adults?
Would you like to tell us about how this works for you?