Identifying Reliable Predictors of Oral Proficiency in Non-native Speakers of American English

By Anne Escobedo, Julie Balazs and Marie Sanford.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 5, 2015 $US5.00

Oral proficiency is known to impact communication success in non-native English speakers. Twenty-seven native speakers of Mandarin, Non-Continental Spanish, Arabic, and Hindi were assessed on oral proficiency. Auditory discrimination tasks, oral reading, verbal repetition, and two discourse samples were analyzed for intelligibility and other prosodic and articulatory features. Results indicate that auditory discrimination skill does not affect intelligibility of speakers across varying contexts. For Mandarin and Hindi speakers, discourse appears more challenging than oral reading and verbal imitation. Therapy techniques to improve oral proficiency should focus on reducing rate of speech for non-Mandarin speakers, and improving intonation pattern for Mandarin speakers.

Keywords: Linguistic Diversity, Accented English, Oral Proficiency

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 9, pp.15-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 921.363KB)).

Anne Escobedo

Graduate Student, Speech-Language Pathology, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA

Julie Balazs

Speech-Language Pathologist, Speech-Language Pathologist, Sacramento, California, USA

Marie Sanford

Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Speech-Language Pathology, School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York, USA