image of The detriment that error production creates is affected by non-L1 speakers’ linguistic group membership
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



We present three studies that investigate the effect of group-level language ability expectations on language ability judgements. Study 1 identifies expected English-language ability levels that native English speakers’ have for a number of non-native English-speaker groups. Based on the results, two text-based written-guise studies were conducted investigating the level of detriment that grammatical and lexical/typographical errors created on English-language ability ratings for different author guises (Swedish, Chinese, English) in formal (Study 2) and informal contexts (Study 3). In both contexts, grammatical errors produced by the guise representing the lower-ability non-L1 group were overlooked, while the same errors produced by the other guises significantly lowered the ability ratings. Our results coincide with the idea of the ‘sympathetic native speaker’ and expand it, suggesting that expected language level based on linguistic group membership inversely affects the level of sympathy/tolerance demonstrated. We link this to possible pedagogical implications.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Ambridge, B.,
    (2020) The crosslinguistic acquisition of sentence structure: Computational modeling and grammaticality judgements from adult and child speakers of English, Japanese, Hindi, Hebrew, and K’iche’. Cognition, , 104310. 10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104310
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104310 [Google Scholar]
  2. Appelman, A., & Schmierbach, M.
    (2018) Make no mistake? Exploring cognitive and perceptual effects of grammatical errors in news articles. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, , –. 10.1177/1077699017736040
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1077699017736040 [Google Scholar]
  3. Ayhan, Ü. & Uğur Türkyılmaz, M.
    (2015) Key of language assessment: Rubrics and rubric design. International Journal of Language and Linguistics, , –.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Beason, L.
    (2001) Ethos and error: How business people react to errors. College Composition and Communication, , –. 10.2307/359061
    https://doi.org/10.2307/359061 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bender, E. M.
    (2005) On the boundaries of linguistic competence: Matched-guise experiments as evidence of knowledge of grammar. Lingua, , –. 10.1016/j.lingua.2004.07.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2004.07.005 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bialystok, E.
    (1986) Factors in the growth of linguistic awareness. Child development, , –. 10.2307/1130604
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1130604 [Google Scholar]
  7. Birkelund, G. E., Rogstad, J., Heggebø, K., Aspøy, T. M. and Bjelland, H. F.
    (2014) ‘Diskriminering i arbeidslivet – Resultater fra randomiserte felteksperiment i Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen og Trondheim’, Sosiologisk tidsskrift, , –. 10.18261/ISSN1504‑2928‑2014‑04‑02
    https://doi.org/10.18261/ISSN1504-2928-2014-04-02 [Google Scholar]
  8. Brandenburg, L. C.
    (2015) Testing the recognition and perception of errors in context. Business and Professional Communication, , –. 10.1177/2329490614563570
    https://doi.org/10.1177/2329490614563570 [Google Scholar]
  9. Cargile, A. C.
    (1997) Attitudes towards Chinese-accented speech: An investigation in two contexts. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, , –. 10.1177/0261927X970164004
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X970164004 [Google Scholar]
  10. Carpusor, A. G. & Loges, W. E.
    (2006) Rental discrimination and ethinicity in names. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, , –. 10.1111/j.0021‑9029.2006.00050.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0021-9029.2006.00050.x [Google Scholar]
  11. Cotton, J., O’Neill, B. S., & Griffin, A.
    (2008) The “Name Game”: Affective and hiring reactions to first names. Journal of Managerial Psychology, , –. 10.1108/02683940810849648
    https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940810849648 [Google Scholar]
  12. Council of Europe
    Council of Europe (2020) Common European Framework for Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment – Companion volume. Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Dąbrowska, E. & Street, J.
    (2006) Individual differences in language attainment: Comprehension of passive sentences by native and non-native English speakers. Language Sciences, , –. 10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.014
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langsci.2005.11.014 [Google Scholar]
  14. Davies, E. E.
    (1983) Error evaluation: The importance of viewpoint. ELT Journal, , –. 10.1093/elt/37.4.304
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/37.4.304 [Google Scholar]
  15. Delamere, T.
    (1996) The importance of interlanguage errors with respect to stereotyping by native speakers in their judgements of second language learners’ performance. System, , –. 10.1016/0346‑251X(96)00022‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0346-251X(96)00022-X [Google Scholar]
  16. Derwing, T. M., Rossiter, M. J., & Ehrensberger-Dow, M.
    (2002) “They speaked and wrote real good”: Judgements on non-native and native grammar. Language Awareness, , –. 10.1080/09658410208667048
    https://doi.org/10.1080/09658410208667048 [Google Scholar]
  17. Dragojevic, M., Fasoli, F., Cramer, J., & Rakić, T.
    (2021) Toward a Century of Language Attitudes Research: Looking Back and Moving Forward. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, , –. 10.1177/0261927X20966714
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X20966714 [Google Scholar]
  18. Dragojevic, M., Giles, H., Beck, A. C., & Tatum, N. T.
    (2017) The fluency principle: Why foreign accent strength negatively biases language attitudes. Communication monographs, (), –. 10.1080/03637751.2017.1322213
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03637751.2017.1322213 [Google Scholar]
  19. Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D.
    (2020) English Language. Ethnologue: Languages of the World.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Fayer, J. M. & Krasinski, E.
    (1987) Native and nonnative judgments of intelligibility and irritation. Language Learning, , –. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1987.tb00573.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1987.tb00573.x [Google Scholar]
  21. Figueredo, L. & Varnhagen, C. K.
    (2005) Didn’t you run the spell checker? Effects of type of spelling errors and use of a spell checker on perceptions of the author. Reading Psychology, , –. 10.1080/02702710500400495
    https://doi.org/10.1080/02702710500400495 [Google Scholar]
  22. Foster, J.
    (2007) Treebanks gone bad: Parser eveluation and retraining using a treebank of ungrammatical sentences. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, , –. 10.1007/s10032‑007‑0059‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10032-007-0059-8 [Google Scholar]
  23. Frank, V.
    (2010) Adult learners’ perspectives on the acquisition of L2 Russian pragmatic competence. Russian Language Journal/Русский язык, , -.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Galloway, V. B.
    (1980) Perceptions of the Communicative Efforts of American Students of Spanish. Modern Language Journal, , –. 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.1980.tb05218.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1980.tb05218.x [Google Scholar]
  25. Garcia, S., Song, H. & Tesser, A.
    (2010) Tained recommendations: The social comparison bias. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes. , –. 10.1016/j.obhdp.2010.06.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2010.06.002 [Google Scholar]
  26. Garrett, P.
    (2010) Attitudes to language. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511844713
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511844713 [Google Scholar]
  27. Giles, H.
    (1970) Evaluative reactions to accents. Educational Review, , –. 10.1080/0013191700220301
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0013191700220301 [Google Scholar]
  28. Greenwald, A., McGhee, D. E., & Schwartz, J. L. K.
    (1998) Measuring individual defferences in implicit cognition: The implicit association test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, , –. 10.1037/0022‑3514.74.6.1464
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.6.1464 [Google Scholar]
  29. Hairston, M.
    (1984) Not all errors are created equal: Nonacademic readers in the professions repond to lapses in usage. College English, , –. 10.2307/376679
    https://doi.org/10.2307/376679 [Google Scholar]
  30. Johnson, J. S. & Newport, E. L.
    (1989) Critical period effects in second language learning: The influence of maturational state on the acquisition of English as a second language. Cognitive Psychology, , –. 10.1016/0010‑0285(89)90003‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0010-0285(89)90003-0 [Google Scholar]
  31. Kantz, M. & Yates, R.
    (1994) Whose judgments? A survey of faculty responses to common and highly irritating writing errors. InPartial Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Assembly for the Teaching of English Grammar, –.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Klimanova, L. & Dembrovskaya, S.
    (2013) L2 identity, discourse and social networking in Russian. Language Learning and Technology, , –.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Kreiner, D. S., Schnakenberg, S. D., Green, A. G., Costello, M. J. & and McClin, A. F.
    (2002) Effects of spelling errors on the perception of writers. Journal of General Psychology, , –. 10.1080/00221300209602029
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00221300209602029 [Google Scholar]
  34. Lambert, W. E., Hodgson, R. C., Gardner, R. C. & Fillenbaum, S.
    (1960) Evaluational reactions to spoken languages. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, , –. 10.1037/h0044430
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0044430 [Google Scholar]
  35. Leonard, D. J. & Gilsdorf, J. W.
    (1991) Language in change: Academics’ and executives’ perceptions of usage errors. The Journal of Business Communication, , –. 10.1177/002194369002700202
    https://doi.org/10.1177/002194369002700202 [Google Scholar]
  36. Levon, E., Sharma, D., Watt, D. J. L., Cardoso, A., & Ye, Y.
    (2021) Accent bias and perceptions of professional competence in England. Journal of English Linguistics, , –. 10.1177/00754242211046316
    https://doi.org/10.1177/00754242211046316 [Google Scholar]
  37. Mirshahidi, S.
    (2016) I find you attractice but I don’t trust you: the case of language attitudes in Iran. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, , –. 10.1080/01434632.2016.1178268
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2016.1178268 [Google Scholar]
  38. Mozafari, A., El-Alayli, A., Kunemund, A. & Fry, T.
    (2019) Impressions of businesses with language errors in print advertising: Do spelling and grammar influence the inclination to use a business?Current Psychology, , –. 10.1007/s12144‑017‑9735‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-017-9735-0 [Google Scholar]
  39. Mumford, S.
    (2009) An analysis of spoken grammar: The case for production. ELT Journal, , –. 10.1093/elt/ccn020
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccn020 [Google Scholar]
  40. Nation, I. S. P.
    (2006) How large a vocabulary is needed for reading and listening. The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes, , –. 10.3138/cmlr.63.1.59
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.63.1.59 [Google Scholar]
  41. Office for National Statistics ; National Records of Scotland ; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency
    Office for National Statistics ; National Records of Scotland ; Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2016) 2011 Census aggregate data. UK Data Service (Edition: June 2016). 10.5257/census/aggregate‑2011‑1
    https://doi.org/10.5257/census/aggregate-2011-1 [Google Scholar]
  42. Planken, B., van Meurs, F. & Maria, K.
    (2019) Do errors matter? The effects of actual and perceived L2 English errors in writing on native and non-native English speakers’ evaluations of the text, the writer and the persuasiveness of the text. International Journal of English Language Teaching, , –. 10.5430/ijelt.v6n1p1
    https://doi.org/10.5430/ijelt.v6n1p1 [Google Scholar]
  43. Preston, D. R.
    (1981) The Ethnography of TESOL. TESOL Quarterly. , –. 10.2307/3586402
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3586402 [Google Scholar]
  44. Queen, R. & Boland, J. E.
    (2015) I think your going to like me: Exploring the role of errors in email messages on assessments of potential housemates. Linguistics Vanguard, , –. 10.1515/lingvan‑2015‑0011
    https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2015-0011 [Google Scholar]
  45. Roberts, F. & Cimasko, T.
    (2008) Evaluating ESL: Making sense of university professors’ responses to second language writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, , –. 10.1016/j.jslw.2007.10.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jslw.2007.10.002 [Google Scholar]
  46. Rubin, D. L., & Williams-James, M.
    (1997) The impact of writer nationality on mainstream teacher’s judgments of composition quality. Journal of Second Language Writing, , –. 10.1016/S1060‑3743(97)90031‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S1060-3743(97)90031-X [Google Scholar]
  47. Santos, T.
    (1988) Professors’ reactions to the academic writing of nonnative-speaking students. TESOL Quarterly, , –. 10.2307/3587062
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587062 [Google Scholar]
  48. Schmid, M. S., Gilbers, S. & Nota, A.
    (2014) Ultimate attainment in late second language acquisition: Phonetic and grammatical challenges in advanced Dutch-English bilingualism. Second Language Research, , –. 10.1177/0267658313505314
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0267658313505314 [Google Scholar]
  49. Schmitt, N.
    (1993) Comparing native and nonnative teachers’ evaluations of error seriousness. Japanese Association of Language Teaching Journal, , –.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Spillner, B.
    (2017) Error analysis in the world. Frank and Timme GmbH.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Tajfel, H. & Turner, J. C.
    (2004) The social identity theory of intergroup behaviour. Key readings in social psychology. InJohn T. Jost & Jim Sidanius (Eds.), Political psychology: Key readings, Key readings in social psychology (pp.–). Psychology Press. 10.4324/9780203505984‑16
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203505984-16 [Google Scholar]
  52. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
    The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (2015) Performance descriptors for language learners. ACTFL Publishing, Alexandria.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Wheeler, R., Cartwright, K. B., Swords, R.
    (2012) Factoring AAVE into reading assessment and instruction. The Reading Teacher, , –. 10.1002/TRTR.01063
    https://doi.org/10.1002/TRTR.01063 [Google Scholar]
  54. Wilcox, K. C., Yagelski, R., & Yu, F.
    (2014) The nature of error in adolescent student writing. Reading and Writing, , –. 10.1007/s11145‑013‑9492‑x
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11145-013-9492-x [Google Scholar]
  55. Wu, S., Liu, D., & Li, Z.
    (2022) Testing the Bottleneck Hypothesis: Chinese EFL learners’ knowledge of morphology and syntax across proficiency levels. Second Language Research, 026765832211285. 10.1177/02676583221128520
    https://doi.org/10.1177/02676583221128520 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error