ENGLISH ACCENT PREFERENCES OF EFL LEARNERS

H. Vancova

Trnava University (SLOVAKIA)
Due to globalisation and modern technology, learners of English as a foreign language (EFL) are exposed to a variety of native and non-native English accents in and out of school setting. The dominant native accents presented to EFL learners in textbooks are the Standard British English and General American English. The EFL learners familiarise with different accents to increase their ability to communicate with a wide range of speakers. Generally, it is recommended for the EFL learners use one accent consistently. Pronunciation, native and non-native, have always been an object of scientific description; however, these days the traditional pronunciation boundaries between accents have been re-drawn. While individual words may change their pronunciation in the course of time, other pronunciation deviations of individual speakers from the traditional form of a chosen variety may be the result of speakers’ exposure to a wider range of accents.

The aim of the study is to examine and analyse the pronunciation features of performance of first-year university EFL learners and according to the segmental features (vowel quality, rhoticity) used in their performances identify which features of different accents are dominant in their speech. The results indicate preference of rhotic accents of the American variety.

The paper presents partial results of the project KEGA 001TTU-4/2019 Higher education of non-native teachers of foreign languages in national and international contexts: needs of non-native teachers of foreign languages in international research context.