HAAL Seminar (OCTOBER 4, 2018)


Date:                    Thursday, 4 October 2018

Venue:                 AG434, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Time:                   AGM at 5:30pm; seminar at 6:00pm

The impact of listeners’ shared background, international experience, and proficiency on the intelligibility, accentedness, and comprehensibility of Asian Englishes

The construct of ‘intelligibility’, broadly defined here as the extent to which a speaker’s utterance is understood, has received widespread attention by both L2 and world Englishes researchers. Much of this research has focused on the intelligibility of the speaker – particularly in relation to linguistic features that promote or inhibit the speaker’s intelligibility. Less attention has been paid to the role of the listener in intelligibility, and how various listener factors may impact not only intelligibility but also perceptions of the accentedness and comprehensibility of a speaker or a variety of English.

The current talk is based on a series of studies I have conducted along with colleagues in the US (see for example Hansen Edwards, Zampini, & Cunningham, 2018) on the accentedness, comprehensibility, and intelligibility of Asian Englishes. This talk will focus predominately on the impact of the listener on intelligibility, accentedness, and comprehensibility. In specific, the talk examines the impact of three listener factors – shared background, international experience, and proficiency – on accentedness and comprehensibility ratings as well as intelligibility scores for four varieties of English: Hong Kong English, China English, Singapore English, and American English. As such, this talk contributes to the growing body of research on the intelligibility of English as a lingua franca in Asia. Pedagogical implications for models and methods for teaching English in Asia will be discussed in relation to the findings.

Jette G. Hansen Edwards is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is the co-editor of Asian Journal of English Language Teaching (AJELT). Her main research areas include the acquisition and use of a second language phonology, world Englishes, and peer response in second language writing. Jette G. Hansen EdwardsShe has published five books, including Phonology and Second Language Acquisition, Acquiring a nonnative phonology: Linguistic Constraints and Social Barriers, and Peer Response in Second Language Writing Classrooms (1st and 2nd editions), as well as the forthcoming The Politics of English in Hong Kong: Attitudes, Identity, and Use (Routledge, 2018). She has also published widely in journals in applied linguistics including Language Learning, Applied Linguistics, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, TESOL Quarterly, ELT Journal, World Englishes, Multilingua, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development,  English World-Wide, and Asian Englishes.


Refreshments Served. All are Welcome with Limited Seats Available.
Visit HAAL at http://www.haal.hk/

HAAL would like to thank the Department of English at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University for their generous support to HAAL events.