Investigating Native Speakers’ Intelligibility Ratings and Comments about Japanese EFL Speakers’ Speech


In this study, we investigated Japanese EFL (JEFL) speakers' intelligibility rated by two groups of native speakers of English, a peer group and a teacher group, and their comments on the speech samples. Reading and spontaneous speech samples were collected twice, pre- and post study abroad from seven JEFL students who visited North America for about nine months. The raters were asked to evaluate the samples in terms of intelligibility, and also were asked to give a comment on each speech about what features seemed unclear or unnatural or some advice for further improvement. The results of the assessment revealed that the intelligibility of JEFL learners was confirmed to be improved. It also revealed that the means of the scores given by the peer raters were higher than the teachers' means. From the result, it seemed that the peer raters were more lenient to JEFL learners' speech. The terms occurring in the comments were divided into four categories for further analysis: phonetics, fluency, suprasegmentals, and grammar. The peer raters gave comments on fluency much more frequently than the teacher raters did. The comments were further investigated and separated into each score. Comments about phonetics were more frequently given to less intelligible speech, and the percentage fell as the intelligibility level rose. The frequency of comments for reading speech given by both groups was confirmed to have a strong positive correlation, but it was not so strong for the spontaneous speech.

Author Information
Nobuhisa Hiraishi, Nagoya Gakuin University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2013
Stream: Language Learning

This paper is part of the ACLL2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Hiraishi N. (2013) Investigating Native Speakers’ Intelligibility Ratings and Comments about Japanese EFL Speakers’ Speech ISSN: 2186-4691 – The Asian Conference on Language Learning 2013 – Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon