Dutch listeners’ evaluations of different degrees of Dutch-accented English in the context of a job interview.

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As a result of the globalizing world, the number of non-native English-speaking people has increased. Previous research conducted on non-native accented English has not yet examined the effects of a Dutch-English accent in an employment context. The purpose of the present study was to examine how Dutch non-native listeners evaluate job applicants with moderate and slight Dutch-English accents in terms of perceived comprehensibility, attitudes, and suitability for a job. In an online questionnaire, 189 Dutch participants evaluated speech fragments recorded by moderately and slightly accented Dutch speakers and native English speakers. Findings indicate that all speakers were evaluated similarly on perceived comprehensibility. Although all speaker groups were evaluated the same on warmth and dynamism, moderately accented and slightly accented speakers were evaluated more negatively on superiority than native speakers. Additionally, moderately accented speakers were considered as less suitable for a job with high communicative demands compared to native speakers. Evaluations were always similar for moderately accented and slightly accented speakers, and often similar for slightly accented speakers and native speakers. The findings show that non-native accented job applicants are generally not evaluated more negatively than native accented job applicants. Future research could replicate this study using longer speech fragments in order to confirm or disprove the present findings.
Faculteit der Letteren