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  • Accent and listening assessment - Luke Harding

    Rights statement: The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Language Testing, 29 (2), 2012, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Language Testing page: http://ltj.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/

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Accent, listening assessment and the potential for a shared-L1 advantage: a DIF perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Language Testing
Issue number2
Volume29
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)163-180
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This paper reports on an investigation of the potential for a shared-L1 advantage on an academic English listening test featuring speakers with L2 accents. Two hundred and twelve second-language listeners (including 70 Mandarin Chinese L1 listeners and 60 Japanese L1 listeners) completed three versions of the University Test of English as a Second Language (UTESL) listening sub-test which featured an Australian English-accented speaker, a Japanese-accented speaker and a Mandarin Chinese-accented speaker. Differential item functioning (DIF) analyses were conducted on data from the tests which featured L2-accented speakers using two methods of DIF detection – the standardization procedure and the Mantel-Haenszel procedure – with candidates matched for ability on the test featuring the Australian English-accented speaker. Findings showed that Japanese L1 listeners were advantaged on a small number of items on the test featuring the Japanese-accented speaker, but these were balanced by items which favoured non-Japanese L1 listeners. By contrast, Mandarin Chinese L1 listeners were clearly advantaged across several items on the test featuring a Mandarin Chinese L1 speaker. The implications of these findings for claims of bias are discussed with reference to the role of speaker accent in the listening construct.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Language Testing, 29 (2), 2012, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2012 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Language Testing page:
http://ltj.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online:
http://online.sagepub.com/