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The Effects of Accent on English Listening Comprehension in Freshman Students Studying Business English at Phetchabun Rajabhat University

Jeerapan Phomprasert and Ma’ayan Grace
Department of Business English, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Phetchabun Rajabhat University, Phetchabun, Thailand

Abstract—Listening has been recognized as one of the most difficult skills in language acquisition and has been the least researched of all four language skills. This has meant listening skills haven’t been targeted by teachers and are viewed as a “somewhat neglected and poorly taught aspect of English”. This study investigates the English listening ability and the effect of accent on freshman student’s ability to comprehend spoken English. The sample group used for this study comprised of 33 students from the Business English Major at Phetchabun Rajabhat University. The results of this study showed that the freshman students studying Business English had a listening ability below the originally expected threshold as well as revealing that students received higher percentages of correct answers when tested using Australian and British accents and lower results when tested using American accents. The results were then analyzed according to the student’s backgrounds and exposure to various accents. Correspondingly the results from this study can be used to develop awareness and improve the techniques used to ensure students acquire better English listening abilities and improve the precision and effectiveness of both teaching and learning.

Index Terms—English listening; second language learning; English learning; accents effect on English listening ability, English accent, American accent, Australian accent

Cite: Jeerapan Phomprasert and Ma’ayan Grace, "The Effects of Accent on English Listening Comprehension in Freshman Students Studying Business English at Phetchabun Rajabhat University," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 89-93, June 2020. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.6.2.89-93

Copyright © 2020 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.