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Volume 10 Number 4, Winter 2013, Pages 1-239   

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Korean English Speakers' Perceptions of East-Asian English Speakers' Pronunciation

    Ji Young Lee, Su Kyoung Mo, So Hee Lee and Kiwan Sung

This study investigates how Korean English speakers (KESs) perceive East-Asian English speakers (EAESs) in view of World Englishes (WE). Two surveys were used to examine KESs' awareness of WE and their perceptions of six EAESs from China, Japan, and Korea. one hundred and ninety-three college students participated in this study and 23 interviewees were randomly selected for rounds of interviews to triangulate the survey data. The results showed that there were statistically significant differences in the four categories: (1) belief in learning pronunciation: (2) views of Inner Circle (IC) speakers, (3) preference for interaction with IC English speakers, and (4) willingness to communicate (WTC) with Outer Circle (OC)/ Expanding Circle (EC) speakers through MANOVA. According to the combined results of t-tests, there were also 31 statistically significant differences in KESs' perceptions between the high and low groups in all the WE categories except for the interaction with IC English speakers depending on the levels of their awareness of WE. The KESs in this study manifested cognitive ambivalence which means the participants felt dissonance in their feelings between valuing non-native accents and yearning for native-like pronunciation. Lastly, this study discusses some important factors related to identities and ownerships of English as WE speakers along with some suggestions for further research on WE.

Keywords: World Englishes (WE), pronunciation, Korean English speakers (KESs), East-Asian English speakers (EAESs), language awareness, Standard English (SE)