Accent and Listening Assessment

A Validation Study of the Use of Speakers with L2 Accents on an Academic English Listening Test

by Luke Harding (Author)
Thesis 292 Pages
Series: Language Testing and Evaluation, Volume 21


Given the linguistically diverse nature of academic institutions in English-speaking contexts, a strong rationale exists for the incorporation of L2 accents of English in academic listening assessment on the grounds of authenticity and construct representation. However large-scale tests have tended to feature only native-speaker varieties in listening test input owing to concerns about the intelligibility of L2 accents, construct validity and acceptability. This book presents a mixed-methods study designed to address these concerns. Versions of the University Test of English as a Second Language (UTESL) featuring Australian English, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese accented speakers were used to explore the potential for a shared-L1 or familiarity advantage, and to investigate test-takers’ attitudes towards L2 accents on a listening test. Implications are drawn for test development and for future research.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2011. 291 pp., num. tables and graphs

Biographical notes

Luke Harding (Author)

Luke Harding is a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University. His research interests are primarily in language testing, particularly listening assessment, pronunciation assessment, specific purposes language testing, and assessor decision-making.


Title: Accent and Listening Assessment