Effects of Accent on Listening Skill Essay

However, (McCracken, 1980) pointed out that communication skill including speaking and listening skill pose as a challenge not only for non-native English speaker but also for native English speaker. In my opinion, listening skill is more important than speaking because if someone has ruble in listening what others say, he will lack of confidence to respond. But because of so many countries use English as a first or second language, there are also many of accents all over the world. Have you ever wondered why you tried all your best to speak English, some of your friends still got confused?

Or sometimes, you have no idea about what a foreigner says Just because he is not American? The most troublesome in listening skill is that you have problem when listening to American accent and British accent. Although they are native speakers and first language countries, people are always confused with these two accents. For example, if a student studies American English for most of his life, he will find British accents hard to handle and vice versa. All of those problems come from the influence of the accents on listening skills.

Background of Issue In Oxford University Press (n. D), accent can be defined as “a distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class”. From many years, people seemed to underestimate the impact of accents on listening skill. In the world, both British English (BE) and American English (AH) are used as standard for studying and working but their accents are very efferent from each other, even some native speakers cannot master listening the two accents.

In fact, many students work so hard on listening skill but sometimes their score are not good enough because of the accents of the speaker of the test. That is the time they realize how important of studying accents in practice listening skill. On contrary, others disagree with that impact. They tend to study how they can master English listening skill well without any notice of accents because they think AH and BE are the same. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the effects of British accents and American accents on listening skill.

Problem Statement English communication skills become more and more important not only for students to get good marks at school but also for adults who want to have a well-paid Job. Years and years, people practice listening skills quite hard because it is difficult for non-native speakers and people from countries using English as second language (SSL) when straying Engel’s, a person tenant to master At or appending on wanly one he is taught at school.

Since there is the illustration that there are no differences AH and BE accents so that students usually Just studied one kind of English and did not pay attention to the other. However, it was stated that accents and comprehensibility have a “quasi-independent” (Deriding ; Munroe, 1997, p. 1). In fact, there are some students admit that, although they can get high score when listening to American accents but when it turns to British accents with the same records, some words they cannot recognize. In the other hand, some people still object to the differences of the effects of these two accents on listening skill.

There should be more research about the connection between effects of American accent and British accent on listening skill to ensure people, especially students can improve heir listening skill. Purpose Statement This research aims to find the answer to the question: “Are there differences between the effect of British and American accents on listening skill? ” By answering this question, I want to show that this research is to determine the effect of accent on listening skill among the students studying English at University of Pedagogy HOC (HICCUP).

Besides, I want to clear the contradictions about whether students should study both British and American accents or not. By doing this research, I also want students can have a clear point of view of the connection of listening skill and cents which may help them to improve listening comprehension and have a better communication skill with foreigners. Thus, we will give students tests, real experiment and questionnaire in order to have a good final conclusions.

There are two hypotheses that may come out after our test, I called them hypothesis O and hypothesis 1: Hypothesis O: There is no different effect between British and American accents on listening skill. Hypothesis 1: There are different effects between British and American accents on listening skill. Significant Statement Since the topic of this research has academic value, students and people studying English will have benefit from this research. By reading this research, they can find the connection of accents and listening comprehension skill.

As for AH and BE are widely taught and used internationally, this research provide knowledge for SSL people. Furthermore, if the result comes out that there are different effects between British and American accents on listening skills; not only students can have a method of study both of the accents in order to improve their comprehensibility but also the workers, staffs can communicate well at work. Finally, with other previous research, I pope my research will be able to change the inactive way of studying English, especially in listening skill.

Literature review Nowadays, British English (BE) and American English (AH) are the two main kinds of English used to teach communication skills in school. However, they led to a question that whether there are different effects of both accents on listening skill or not. Some says yes, some says no. The biggest reason is BE and AH has the same origins and people believed that they are not too much different when it comes to communication skill. For example, when you listen to a song in both BE and AH, you till understand both versions even you are from a non-native English speaker countries.

The listener’s background knowledge and the speaker’s use of language have impact on listening comprehension (Dozer, 1997). But, for some people, there are o Ill t TA Deterrent Ideas auto ten erect AT Ana At accents on listening SKI Taking Vietnamese students for clarify this point of view, everyone knows that Vietnamese students are taught AH since elementary school so that when they becomes students, they get confused and maybe bad mark at the first year because in universities, especially the educational ones, they tend to teach students BE.

Another example, also a question is that if there is no different effects between BE and AH accents on listening skill, why most of students studying TOEFL (English test based on AH) find it hard to get high mark in listening and speaking of LILTS (English test based on BE)? Because of these two different points of view, many research and studies have been carried out. In this research, these two ideas are divided and arranged in chronological order. Furthermore, there are some studies demonstrated to help people have a clear and full general view of this issue in this research. AH and

BE accents have no different effect on listening skill In fact, there are no specific studies or research that demonstrates clearly about this idea. As AH is used mostly in America and two-third of native English speakers live there (Crystal, 1997) and BE is now widely used in the British Isle where English from all over the world derived from so people seem to neglect the different between these two accents. A study of accent preferences of an Australia university found that the students studying English prefer both BE and AH over other non-native speakers accent (Dalton-puffer,

Coalescence, Simi, 1977). From a study with the Hong Kong students found that who listening to AH and BE accents are more evaluated than listening to other accents such as Hong Kong or Korean (Forded, 1995). Another research also found that students in elementary school show better attitudes to AH and BE than Japanese English (Kumara, 2005). By those conclusions, they are maybe not directly said that there is no different between BE and AH accents on listening skill but there is a illustration that there are Just the different effects of native speaker and non-native speakers on listening skill.

AH and BE accents have different effects on listening skill On contrary, there are a lot of studies and definitions about the idea that AH and BE accents have different effects on listening skill. A study showed that 70% the Greek adult learners preferred to learn BE more than AH ( Promoted, 1992 ). Not mention about the historical background between American and Greek, the reason leading to this result is the familiarity of Greek with BE. One thing that writer did not mention in his study is that all of 300 Greek learners he took were studying Cambridge First Certificate given in British English.

In history, before the Revolution war and the American gain independent from the British in 1776, the two accents were similar but after that, there are slight different from each accents. Allege (2006, p. 2) pointed out that intonation or “the tune of language” is the most different between AH and BE accents. Plenty of studies and research, even from each students experiences showed that AH and BE accents have different in pronunciation, stress, consonant etc. All of those elements affect student’s listening comprehension the most.

Besides, there are 38% of EX. citizens take BE as their second language leading BE remains the most widely spoken language throughout Europe” (European Commission, 2006). In comparison with AH, European seem to be used to with BE so that they fancy and listen to BE better than AH. For example, 60% of the Spanish students found BE to be easier to understand than AH ( Lopez-Sots and Barbara-Pardon, 2007 ). Recent Studies I nerve Is a lot AT research Ana statues auto tons topic nave Eden contacted tongue years.

One of them is: Sociolinguistic by Macedon (2001). In this research, the purpose is finding how various English accents affect students from non-native speaker countries. The participants were 20 boys and 20 girls from four Japanese high school classes. In the test, they will hear a weather forecast spoken by five 28-35 year old males in five English accents: Received Pronunciation (RPR) which is the standard accent of Standard English in England (Macadam, 1965), North American Network (NAN), Eastern American (EAI), South American (AS) and Sydney.

Each class had a recording of a pair of accents and heard 3 times for each accent. After that, students must fulfill a questionnaire containing six questions about comprehension capability, preferable, prestigious and familiar level between two accents. From the summarize table of questionnaire, it showed that RPR accents were easier and more believable than others meanwhile it sounds less interesting and familiar. However, there was still some confusion about this study. Did all the participants have the same level of listening comprehension?

Furthermore, was the RPR accents used widely and consider as general British accents because it is defined as the Standard English spoken in the South of England (Concise Oxford Dictionary, 1999) Another research was in 2009 called Should We Use American English to Improve Student’s Listening Skill written by Choice. In this research, there were 40 elementary level students from two different classes of Sells University Prep-school. They were divided into British and American groups, each group having 20 students in the same class. There were 14 males and 6 females in the British group and 12 males and 8 females in the American group.

In the pre-test, they will hear a recording from London Test English (LET) in both accents and then answer a 20-question test. However, all the students had been studying British English in their academic years so that they did the British test better than the American one. After that, they took a 20-hour Longhand English Interactive Online course in BE and AH depending on which group they were in. Moreover, they also had to study studied the Listening and Listening Challenge (LLC) in two- week period. Then, they did the post-test of 10 multiple choices question about a test from LLC spoken in both BE and AH accents.

After analyzing the answers, the researcher found that there was Just a slight different result in the pre-test and post-test in British group while there was a significant increase in score in American group. Like the first mentioned research, this study still has some limitations. The participants are Just elementary kids so with a long period of time researching like that (20 hours and 2 weeks), is the results correct? Because the American group were taught and trained rather carefully, it will affect the nature listening skill of students.

Furthermore, the gender is one of the important factors has impact on listening skill but the researcher did not divider males and females in BE and AH group equally. The latest study in 2011 of Rashes named Foreign Language Accents and FEEL Learners’ Attitudes focused on both the attitude of students and teachers. The participants were divided into two groups. The first is 72 Iraqi senior students from Department of English, of the College of Education at the University of Bash studying English for at least 12 years at school.

The second consisted of 20 university English professors with high qualifications and degree at the same department with the first group. The students group was given a questionnaire about the several-subject audio spoken in British Ana American accents s sees teen Ana to answer wanly accents teen parterre. O the other hand, the teachers group Just had to answers 3 questions about which accents: BE or AH that they preferred, they used in teaching and their reasons for heir choices. After analyzing, the researchers found that in the first group, 66. % of students preferred BE accent because it is more prestigious, standard etc while 33. 3% chose AH because of its popularity nowadays. For the second group, the result is that out of 15 over 20 teachers use BE accents in teaching with various reasons. Although this study concluded both teachers and students to provide more specific views in the topic, they seemed to neglect one thing. Because all of the students were taught and had been studying BE accents for a long time, will it effect to their listening skill and habits? Furthermore, they Jumped to the conclusion in Just one test.

In the world, many people believe that BE accent is the standard English and student should learn it instead of other accents. However, because of the development of the U. S. A where people speak American accent the most, it seem that many students do not want to study BE accent anymore. It cause to the argument of the effect of both English styles on students skills, especially in this research is the accents effect on listening skill. From many researches and studies before with weaknesses and strengths, this research’s purpose is to clarify and expose the appropriate answer to this argument.

Methodology Rationale The main aim of this method is figure out the effects of British and American accent on student’s listening comprehension skill. As I mention above, listening is one of the most important English communication skill for student so that find out those effects will help to improve student skills. For doing it effectively, we want to design tests and questionnaire in the most suitable and logical way. Besides, we also use some analyzed method to have most appropriate results. For all those standards on designing test, we choose both quantitative and qualitative research study.

Research site As the research topic related to educational purpose, we decided to choose Ho Chi Mini University of Pedagogy (HICCUP) as our research site. This is the biggest university specializing in training teachers and lectures in Ho Chi Mini City. It is also one of the 14 leading universities in Vietnam and plays a leading role in teacher and lecturer training for the Southern of Vietnam. Because students have better concentration in the early time of day so we conducted our research in the morning. To make it more effective in listening, we chose a small room, room DODD to give out our tests.

Moreover, it had enough technology system we required. Participants Our test was listening tests for upper level English students and English department of HICCUP is the biggest department so we chose to select students from this department. As we need to pick student with the similar English level, class ATM is on the list. Furthermore, they are all in the age of 21 and 22 which will get rid of the age factor in studying English. Instrument We focused on designing two tests on listening skill for university students with have upper level in English, they were called pre-test and post-test.

However, as there are lot of listening tests on the Internet so we decided to make all the tests familiar with students and they can master it, not too difficult but not easy. In the pre-test, we uses a Tort AT Host earth C I IGATE In Engel’s RCA) to measure ten level AT participants listening skill. It was included 2 parts: an 8-question multiple choice task and a close test. Each part has its own audio. This pre-test took 30 minutes to fulfill. This test is a helpful test for those who want to improve listening skill in Europe standard.

See appendix A. In the post-test, it also had a multiple choice task and a close test. But now it was reduced from 8 to 5 questions in part 1. This was the test to figure out the effects of AH and BE accent of listening skill so we provided a listening test with two audios which had the same content but were spoken into two accents. First was the British accent; next was the American one. See appendix B. The answer sheet of both two tests was the same. It was a table on which has 18 blanks fitting with the questions in the test. See appendix AH .

On the other hand, questionnaire after tests can provide us some realistic thoughts of participants so we also pay attention on his section. We concluded it in 8 multiple choice question to find out their listening habits, obstacles and attitude towards to two accents. Furthermore, we want our participant feel free to answer so we decided many options for them to choose. Certainly, the answers of the participants were used for this research purpose only. See appendix C. For the consent form which we delivered to participants, we can see the appendix D.

Procedures To run our test smoothly, we piloted our test by giving a sample of post test and questionnaire to a group of four ATM students. The result was good and they even eave us some advices to help improve our tests. In the real day of pre-test, we chose 20 students (except the pilot group) with the systematic random sample and the “k” number is 3. Then, for the post test, we called 14 students who had high score in the pre-test to help us do the post test. We divided them into two groups. First group listened to British accent and another listened to American accent of the same test content.

The durations of two tests were the same, 30 minutes for each. However, in the specific time for each part of the test, there were some differences depending on the test we design. The period of time when answering was not included in the main test time. Pre-test experiment For some unexpected reasons, the participants didn’t take the pre-test in the morning as planned but at noon instead. Luckily, it didn’t affect much on participant’s abilities. At first, we handed the consent form to them and make sure that they all agree with the terms and sign it with their own will; then collect them back.

After that, we delivered them the answer sheet and the test which was turn upside down at that moment. Then, we instructed them carefully about test and asked whether they had meeting confused or not. To begin the pre-test, we let the participant 2 minutes to read through and prepare for the test. For part 1 of the pre-test, they had listen to 8 conversations and answer 8 multiple choice questions related to each dialogue. When finishing the first part, they have 30 seconds to overview the close test in part 2. It was taken from an interview about introduction of a teenager summer camp.

There were 10 blanks in this test and they didn’t allow writing more than 3 words in each blank. All two parts were listened twice and they could use the test to take note. When the recording ended, the participants had 1 minute to transfer their answer to the answer sheets. Finally, we collected the answer sheets and scored them. We gave one point for each right answer. They all scored over the average but we Just chose 14 enlightens students to continue long to post test at another cay. Experiment At first, we divided 14 students into 2 groups randomly.

We use tests with the same content but were spoke in British and American accents. The first group listened to the audio with British accent and the second one listened to the American accent. The British listener was the first one to do the test and then is the American group. While one group was listening to the test, the other was outside and kept far from the research site for the effectiveness of the test. We also provided a person who was in charge of taking care of them in the outside. Although it had the same form with the pre-test but it was different in content.

For first part, there were 5 multiple choice questions about a folk story. In second part, it was a 13-blank close test about how a rainbow form and its myths. Apart from those differences, we also instructed them afore handing the answer sheets, post test and gave them time to read through the test, transfer answers etc. Just the same as the pre-test. Finally, we delivered the questionnaire to the participants and explained it to them. To thank for the participant cooperation, we also had some small gifts for them at the end of pre-test and post test.

Statistic Analysis Since this is an education purpose research, it require the high exactness in the statistic analysis. After counting the points of participants in the post test using the same counting method of pre-test, we used the t-test excel software to analyze the exults. The t-test is the statistical test used to find the differences between two groups mean and average score. First, we got the average score of each group and the differences of two meaner in order to determine if the meaner are sufficiently different from each other.

Then we could Jump to the conclusion of whether they are in two distinct groups or not. The next step was finding out the meaner and the standard deviations (SD) from the detail statistic result table of t-test. This step was done by considering the variability in scores of the two groups. Next, we set the p value of 0. 5 to decide the decision was one-tailed or two-tailed. And then, we calculated the t-values and p-values. After having the t-Stats number, we make a comparison between it and the t-values and the p-values. If it is bigger than t-values and the p-values is smaller than 0. 5, there is differences between two groups and vice versa. By using t-Test, we can see the differences and answer this research question: Is there any difference between the effect of British and American accents on listening skill? For the questionnaire, we used the percentage method to analyze it. After that, we had a summary and conclusion for this research. Data Analysis and Discussion After the procedures and having the result from the post-test, we now come up with the analysis and discussion both post-test and questionnaire.

Student’s performance: Post-test This table 1 below showed us the meaner and standard deviation (SD) from the post test scores of British accent listeners and American accent listeners. We also included the t-values and p values in table 1. Table 1 Scores of Listening Test in British and American Accents. Accent British 15. 14 12. 2 17 1 American | 4. 71 | 2. 5 17 1 From table 1, it’s obvious that the mean of British accent listeners group is higher Han the American one (5. 14 compared with 4. 71). For the SD, we can see that the gap of two SD is Just slightly different (2. And 2. 5) with American’s is higher than British. Thus, a first conclusion is that there was less difference between the two groups and the performance of British listeners group was better than the other’s. To have a clearer and more certain conclusion, we can use the rest details of the table. From the post-test groups, we had the critical value of 2. 18 with UDF= 12, p 0. 05, and two- tailed significant. Therefore, in comparison, we found that the t-value was significant mailer than the critical value while the p-value was considerably higher than 0. 5. So, according to those analyses, we could confidently state that there was no difference between the effects of British and American accents on listening skill. Hence, accents do not affect student’s listening skill. The following analysis is all 6-question chart results of questionnaire. The first question was about the choice of accent students have been studying and using. We can see in this pie chart that the American accent was account for 72%. Meanwhile, the British accent and both of two accent choice shared the equal percent.

We continue with the second question asking about which accent cause more troubles to students. Most of the student (over 93%) answered that British accent causes difficulties to them in listening. In the fourth question, we let them to score their listening skill themselves on the scale of 1 to 10. The result was 71% of student scored them average points and 21% was humble with 4 to 5 points. There is no choice for other 3 options. The next question wanted the participants give opinion on whether it is difficult to study both question or not. As a result, most of students (86%) seemed to have faculties on this subject.

In the 5th question, we wanted to know factors affecting the listening skill listed by participants. And we came to the outcome that nearly 80% of students said that the sound of listening test affect their result most and the least effective factors on listening skill was the range of voice with Just a little bit higher than 20%. Lastly, we asked them how they improve your listening skill and over 90% told us that they have listened more regularly. Watching movies and speaking more were also good choice for improving listening skill among participants (64% for watch movies ND 57% for speaking).

However, they seem to neglect the accent factor in listening skill. Just 21% of participant chose studying more about accent can improve listening In summary, the questionnaire’s results reflected the listening and studying English habit of participants. Most of the students pay more attention to other factors affecting on listening skill than accents. However, they still distinguished and had awareness of differences of British and American accents. We found that for some students, different accents do have effects on their listening skill but maybe, other factors are more important when studying.

Student’s Performance: Discussion From all of those analyses above, we found that there was no difference between the effect of British and American accents on listening skill. There were some reasons for this result. The participants maybe weren’t in their goodness to do the listening tests. Furthermore, some distractions on the test day also affected the results. Although there were some students admitted that they should work harder on accent for listening skill, it still be concluded that British and American accents have no impact on student listening skill. Conclusion and Recommendation

This chapter is consisted of 4 parts. First part is the conclusion and answer for the main question of this research. Then, we would like to analyze our experiment strengths and weaknesses in order that everyone has a general and objective view to this research. Thirdly, we gave some recommendations for students on listening skill. Last but not least, we would suggest some further research based on our work for others who have interests in this topic. Answer to the research question Our research question is “Is there any difference between the effect of British and American accents on listening skill?

Based on the data analysis and all statistic data, the answer is there is no difference between the effect of British and American accents on listening skill. Strengths and weaknesses of the experiment Our experiment first strengths and also its weaknesses is the participant. With the participants from English department of HICCUP, we are very confident with their English skills. We believed that they can master the entire high-level English test. However, it was also one of our experiment weaknesses, as they were Vietnamese students; they were trained with American English for their secondary and high school time.

Since they attended HICCUP, they have been used to British English. It meant that the participants were familiar with both of the accents so it seemed to affect quite a lot our research results. Another thing we wanted to state here about the experiment weaknesses is that the differences in level of tests. While the pre-test was the FACE test for upper level students, the post test seemed to be much less difficult than the pre-test. It created a gap in level of the two tests. Recommendations Although this research turned out that there is no difference between the effect of

British and American accents on listening skill, it does not mean that student can neglect this factor when they study English. As people can see in the questionnaire analysis, the percentage of people choosing accents still affect their listening skill is up to 71%. Accents maybe ignored by the Vietnamese students because some of them does not have chance to approach many accents.