Does Teaching Your Native Language Abroad Increase L1 Attrition of Speech? The Case of Spaniards in the United Kingdom
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The present study examines the perceived L1 accent of two groups of native Spaniards inthe United Kingdom, Spanish teachers, and non-teachers, alongside monolingual controls in Spain.While the bilingual groups were carefully matched on a range of background variables, the teachersused Spanish significantly more at work where they constantly need to co-activate it alongsideEnglish. This allowed us to test the relative effect of reduced L1 use and dual language activation infirst language attrition directly. To obtain global accentedness ratings, monolingual native Spanishlisteners living in Spain participated in an online perception experiment in which they rated shortspeech samples extracted from a picture-based narrative produced by each speaker in terms of theirperceived nativeness, and indicated which features they associated with non-nativeness. The resultsrevealed significantly greater foreign-accent ratings for teachers than non-teachers and monolinguals,but no difference between the latter two. Non-native speech was associated with a range of segmentaland suprasegmental features. These results suggest that language teachers who teach their L1 in anL2-speaking environment may be particularly prone to L1 attrition since they need to co-activateboth their languages in professional settings and are regularly exposed to non-native speech fromL2 learners.
Mayr, Robert, Sanchez, David & Mennes, Ineke (2020) 'Does Teaching Your Native Language Abroad Increase L1 Attrition of Speech? The Case of Spaniards in the United Kingdom', Languages 5 (4), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040041
Article published in Languages, available open access at https://doi.org/10.3390/languages5040041
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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