alexa What speaking rates do non-native listeners prefer?
Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

Author(s): T Derwing, MJ Munro

Abstract Share this page

In this study we report on an experiment in which two groups of ESL participants (native Mandarin listeners and a mixed group of speakers of other languages) used a 9-point scale ranging from 'too slow' to 'too fast' to assess the appropriateness of the speech rate of narratives read by native English speakers and Mandarin learners of English. The narratives were played to listeners at their unmodified rates and at three computer-manipulated rates: all passages were adjusted to the Mean Mandarin rate, the Mean English rate, and a Reduced Rate, 10 per cent slower than the Mean Mandarin rate. In general, the modifications did not result in improvements in the ratings. However, the listeners did tend to assign better ratings to accelerated (compared with natural rate) productions from the slowest Mandarin speakers. Regression analyses projected that the Mandarin-speaking listeners would prefer the same 'ideal' rate for Mandarin-accented speech that they did for native English speech, while the other ESL learners would prefer Mandarin-accented English to be spoken at a rate slower than native English speech but faster than the Mandarin speakers' natural rate. This result may reflect a difference in processing costs for familiar and unfamiliar accents. Taken together with the results of other studies, these findings suggest that the admonition to second language learners to 'slow down' is unlikely to be a broadly beneficial strategy.

  • To read the full article Visit
  • Open Access
This article was published in Applied linguistics and referenced in Journal of Bioengineering & Biomedical Science

Relevant Expert PPTs

Recommended Conferences

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version