The Effects of Dutch Accented English on the Speaker Evaluations by Dutch Listeners in Interviews for Jobs with and without Communicatively Demanding Tasks.

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Due to globalisation, English has been adopted by organisations as a Lingua Franca across the world. As a result, non-native speakers of English have to communicate in foreign-accented English on the job. To date, it has not been investigated whether there is an effect of various degrees of non-native accentedness on listeners who share the same non-native English background as the speaker in a workplace setting where communicative skills are required. The purpose of the present study was to explore how Dutch listeners evaluate Dutch speakers with moderate and slight non-native Dutch accents in English in terms of comprehensibility, attitude and hiring recommendation based on different job requirements. In an experiment, 189 Dutch participants evaluated the speech fragments of a job interview based on job descriptions for an HR Manager, with many communicatively demanding tasks, or an IT Technician, with almost no communicatively demanding tasks. Findings showed that the manipulation was unsuccessful, which led to the exclusion of the Dutch accent strength in the conclusions. However, it was found that a speaker with a non-native accent was downgraded on attitudinal items and hiring recommendation in comparison to the speaker with a native English accent for the job that required strong communicative skills. Job-hunters are advised to minimise their non-native accent to avoid speaker evaluations based on their first language or country of origin.
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