Impact of L2 learners' background factors on the perception of L1 Spanish speech

Holly Wheeler, Okim Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Listener background variables have been recognized as potential contributors to language evaluation bias. This continuum of trait-irrelevant factors creates implications from the L2 classroom to integration in the target language community. This study examined how L2 Spanish learners' listener background factors including ethnicity, heritage speaker status, and study abroad experience predicted their perceptual ratings of native Spanish accented speech on comprehensibility, accentedness, acceptability, and open-mindedness. Results showed mixed findings regarding the impact of L2 listener background factors and study abroad experiences on L1 speech perception ratings with little variance explained overall despite significant differences between speech constructs, suggesting that there may be other effects that impact how L2 learners perceive L1 speech. Results support previous findings that learner L2 level and ability seem to influence how target language speech is perceived. Findings provide implications for the fields of study abroad and immersion learning and teaching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-174
Number of pages20
JournalForeign Language Annals
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Spanish
  • accentedness
  • comprehensibility
  • speech perception
  • study abroad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of L2 learners' background factors on the perception of L1 Spanish speech'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this