The Effects of Different Accents on Listening Comprehension in EFL Classes

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OPUS Uluslararası Toplum Araştırmaları Dergisi, vol.14, no.20, pp.1369-1394, 2019 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


Listening skill is practised in English as a foreign language (EFL) classes by the help of listening texts prepared for the coursebooks with a pure British accent which may not reflect the natural communication elements that the learners will face throughout their ordinary lives. As a consequence of the use of English in different geographies, non-native speakers have produced a variety of Englishes. Since English language is used as a lingua franca, accent is one distinctive matter of this diversity. In this context, it is controversial to what extent it is correct to improve learners’ listening skills with the tapes recorded in one type of accent, which is the case today in most of the EFL classes. Therefore, this study aims to investigate a sample of secondary school students to evaluate and compare their listening skills in comprehending different accents of English. To this end, participants were subjected to a group of listening tests. A total of 22, 7th grade students participated in the study. Test results were assessed and evaluated, comparisons in the sense of comprehension levels between different tapes were provided. Next, the necessities of developing awareness of different accents in EFL classes were discussed. Finally, based on the results of the study, several practical implications for developing listening skills in EFL classrooms were drawn.