Charlie Nagle, associate professor of Spanish, recently published a research article in Language Learning.
The paper, “The effect of speaker proficiency on intelligibility, comprehensibility, and accentedness in L2 Spanish: A conceptual replication and extension of Munro and Derwing” argues that accent is not a good predictor of intelligibility (actual understanding) or comprehensibility (ease of understanding).
Nagle’s findings provide additional support for shifting pronunciation instruction away from accent elimination toward improving comprehensibility. Additionally, linguistic features such as speech rate and grammar and pronunciation errors had a variable impact on intelligibility and comprehensibility depending on the proficiency level of the speaker.
Language Learning is a scientific journal dedicated to the understanding of language learning broadly defined. It publishes research articles that systematically apply methods of inquiry from disciplines including psychology, linguistics, cognitive science, educational inquiry, neuroscience, ethnography, sociolinguistics, sociology, and anthropology.