The influence of the English proficiency of Dutch listeners on the evaluations of moderate Dutch-accented English speakers and Standard-accented British English speakers in an employment context
Due to globalization, there are a lot of linguistically diverse employees present within international businesses. These employees speak with different non-native accent strengths which may lead to discriminatory evaluations. What remains underexplored, however, is how listeners’ proficiency levels influence the evaluations of non-native speakers. Therefore, the present study investigated the influence of the actual English proficiency of Dutch listeners on their evaluations about perceived comprehensibility, status, dynamism, solidarity, and hirability of moderate Dutch-accented English speakers and standard-accented British English speakers. Dutch listeners (N = 125) with an intermediate and advanced level of English proficiency evaluated a speech fragment about a job applicant in a verbal-guise experiment. The findings showed that the Dutch listeners evaluated the British English speaker more positively on perceived comprehensibility, status, dynamism, solidarity, and hirability. The level of English proficiency did not seem to affect the evaluations of the speakers.
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