Extensive research has been conducted on second language acquisition and its perceived limits. Many will argue that these limitations, such as age of acquisition, can be counterbalanced by certain factors of motivation. If an individual has an internal desire for native-like use of the language, then hypothetically they should be better equipped to reach such a level. But how do these motivational factors develop, and what factors from the learning environment could be responsible for fostering them? This study was designed to explore the influence of non-native speaker perception of native speaker dialect authenticity and its implications for pedagogy. If an individual perceives a dialect to be more authentic than another, could this influence their desire to obtain a manner of pronunciation similar to the favored dialect, as directed by their perceived future L2 self? It was hypothesized that the dialects that differ more from neutral Spanish—in other words, those that exhibit more distinct phonemes—would be deemed more authentic and would be used as a personal basis for measuring and directing acquisition. Statistical analysis showed significant correlations between dialectal preference and those who have Spanish-speaking family and friends, as well as those who intend to study abroad. These results suggest that students who are not exposed to specific dialects prior to formal education may not be fully aware of dialectal variance and as such they may not be able to make an educated decision in their own pronunciation acquisition.
"Non-Native Speaker Perception of Native Speaker Dialect Authenticity and Implications for Pedagogy,"
Proceedings of GREAT Day: Vol. 2016
, Article 9.
Available at: https://knightscholar.geneseo.edu/proceedings-of-great-day/vol2016/iss1/9