Academic Article: Pantos, Andrew J., and Andrew W. Perkins. “Measuring Implicit and Explicit Attitudes Toward Foreign Accented Speech.” Journal of Language & Social Psychology, vol. 32, no. 1, Mar. 2013, pp. 3–20.
This study applies concepts and methods from the domain of Implicit Social Cognition to examine language attitudes toward foreign and U.S. accented speech. Implicit attitudes were measured using an Implicit Association Test (IAT) that incorporated audio cues as experimental stimuli. Explicit attitudes were measured through self-report questionnaires. Participants exhibited a pro-U.S. accent bias on the IAT measure but a pro-foreign accent bias on explicit measures. This divergence supports the conclusion that implicit and explicit attitudes are separable attitude constructs resulting from distinct mental processes and suggests that language attitudes research—which has traditionally measured only explicit attitudes—would benefit by incorporating indirect measures. The Associative-Propositional Evaluation Model is proposed as a comprehensive and consistent theory to explain the cognitive processing of language attitudes.
Academic Article: Colic-Peisker, Val, and Jim Hlavac. “Anglo-Australian and Non-Anglophone Middle Classes: ‘Foreign Accent’ and Social Inclusion.” Australian Journal of Social Issues (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ), vol. 49, no. 3, July 2014, pp. 349–371.
Building on the concept of 'multicultural middle class', this paper explores social inclusion of professionally educated and employed non-Anglophone immigrants in Australia. We focus specifically on the perceptions and implications of 'foreign accent' in the interaction between two groups of middle-class Australians: non-Anglophone immigrants and Anglo-Australians. 'Non-Anglophone immigrants' are defined as those who arrived in Australia as adults, grew up speaking a language other than English, and therefore usually speak English with a 'foreign accent'. 'Anglo-Australians' are defined as people born in Australia who grew up in families/households where only English was spoken, therefore speaking with a 'native Australian' accent. Through a survey of a targeted sample of respondents, the two groups were asked about their intergroup communication, wider interaction (e.g., intermarriage, friendships and working together) and mutual perceptions. Our findings indicate high levels of agreement between the two groups that Anglophone/non-Anglophone communication is minimally hindered by comprehension problems due to foreign-accented speech and cultural differences. Although the positive picture that emerges may reflect specific experiences and attitudes of middle-class professionals and may not be generalisable, increased contact of the 'multicultural middle class' with its Anglo-Australian counterpart is likely to be a factor in dissociating foreign accent and negative stereotyping.
The reason you discriminate against foreign accents starts with what they do to your brain - Michael Erard
The science behind accent perception and comprehension
“That’s a basis on which it’s easy to make judgments about a person’s cultural affiliation or education,” says Ingrid Piller, a sociolinguist at Macquarie University in Brisbane, Australia, who studies language and migration and blogs about them. “It’s a springboard for a lot of heavy assumptions which may or may not be true.”
Historical examples of accent discrimination and trauma in the United States.
On April 3, 2009, an Asian American named Jiverly Wong shot and killed 13 people at the American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton, New York, then turned a gun on himself. His victims included an ESL teacher and 12 immigrants who, like himself, had sought English language instruction at the Southern Tier facility.
In a paper published recently in the prestigious international journal World Englishes, professor of linguistics and director of South Asian languages Tej K. Bhatia asserts that the immigrant’s low English skills and the barriers and discrimination he experienced as a result could have motivated the worst mass killing in New York state...