Shin, Dong-Jin. 2017. Effects of L2 Proficiency and Interlanguage Benefit on Speech-in-noise Recognition. English Language and Linguistics 23.1, 43-57. The goal of the current study is to examine whether speech-in-noise recognition abilities are linked with L2 proficiency and whether the types of accents (native L1 English accent vs. Korean-accented L2 English) influence speech intelligibility. The study also aims to investigate whether the interlanguage speech intelligibility benefit is affected by the noise levels. Thirty Korean L2 speakers completed a speech-in-noise recognition tests for both native and L2 accents, and took an English proficiency test (Michigan Test) as well. The results showed that Korean L2 speakers of English were better at speech-in-noise recognition test for native accent than Korean-accented speech. While there was a strong correlation between the proficiency and speech-in-noise recognition for native accent, such a result was not found from Korean-accented speech. Also, the level of the background noise degraded the accuracy of the speech intelligibility for both accents. Taken together, the present study contributed to understanding how listeners’ perceptual sensitivity interacts with speaker accents and background noise in speech communication.
Key words: English proficiency, speech-in-noise recognition, Korean learners of English, Length of residency (LOR)