EUROSLA Yearbook: Volume 7 (2007)
  • ISSN 1568-1491
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9749
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Research has generally found age of learning (AOL) (i.e., age of initial significant L2 exposure) to predict degree of foreign accent (FA), while length of residence (LOR) has sometimes been seen as simply a corollary of AOL. The subjects in the present study were twelve late L2 learners of English with an average AOL of 22.5 and an average LOR of 10, plus a native-speaker control group. All the English-L2 subjects had Spanish and/or Catalan as L1. Short extracts were taken from their oral retelling of a film narrative and judged for FA by four native speakers of English. Language background data were elicited by questionnaire and interview. A significant difference overall emerged between native speakers and non-natives in terms of FA ratings. However, two of the learners scored within the native-speaker range. The discussion examines the possible influence of an array of factors on degree of FA, and explores what might underlie the native-like performance of the two most successful learners.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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