The Perception of Accent in Nonnative Speakers of English: A Case of Identity
Gunn, Nicholas J
Why is there a hierarchical structure for the acquisition and instructing of the English language? Why are some forms of English pronunciation (namely RP) still considered superior, better or just preferred? Is it prestige? Is it a marketing strategy? Is there research analysis to support this insight?The perception persists that native speakers of English are superior or default better teachers of the language than non-native speakers of English. The reality is a completely different story. Research has clearly demonstrated that competency and fluency in the target language, combined with refined pedagogical skills are the keys to success when instructing in a second language (Braine, 2010).The focus of this research is to explore non-native English teachers’ perceptions of their own accent in their professional development as educators, and what repercussions these self-concepts have in their quest for meaningful employment and personal growth.Sixty-five non-native Pedagogía en Inglés students and recent graduates from both Universidad UCINF and USACH (Universidad de Santiago de Chile) from the RM Region in Chile were surveyed, from which eight were randomly chosen to participate in a focus group discussion.