Speaking With a Nonnative Accent: Perceptions of Bias, Communication Difficulties, and Belonging in the United States

Agata Gluszek, John F. Dovidio

Published in “Journal of Language and Social Psychology,” Volume 29, June 2010.

Abstract: Whereas past research on nonnative accents has focused on the attitudes and perceptions of listeners, the current research explores the experiences of speakers with nonnative accents. Two studies investigated the role of nonnative accents and their strength in perceptions of stigmatization and discrimination, problems in communication, and feelings of social belonging. Study 1 demonstrated that individuals with nonnative accents experienced two different, but related facets of stigmatization: expectations of stigmatization and problems in communication. Study 2 extended this research by examining the effects of the experience of stigma and communication problems associated with nonnative accents on social belonging in the United States The results showed that speaking with a nonnative accent, but not a regional native accent, was significantly associated with feeling less belonging, and this difference was mediated by perceived problems in communicating.

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