Volume 7, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2215-1931
  • E-ISSN: 2215-194X
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In this article, the constructs of intelligibility, comprehensibility, and discourse-level understanding in second language (L2) speech are analyzed for their conceptual and methodological characteristics. The analysis is complemented by a case study of listeners’ understanding of two matched L2 English speakers, who completed three speaking tasks over 17 weeks. One listening task focused on word/phrase recognition and one focused on semantic and pragmatic understanding. Results showed two different profiles for the two speakers. When listeners had difficulty understanding, for one speaker it was often due to word/phrase recognition problems, while for the other speaker it was often due to ambiguity in the pragmatic or functional meaning of the speech. Implications are discussed for the ways in which L2 speech is elicited, evaluated, and taught.


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