First Advisor

Kimberley Brown

Term of Graduation

Fall 2001

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




Customer services -- Social aspects, Intercultural communication, Business communication



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 215 pages)


In the modem world of international communication, it is more common for speakers of different varieties of English to come into contact with each other on a daily basis. This can occur not only in face to face communication, but in telephone communication as well.

This study investigates the attitudes towards a non-native or Expanding Circle (ECE) variety of English held by telephone customer service representatives at a large American financial institution. The central question of this study asks whether or not these telephone representatives will rate a speaker of a Korean-accented variety of English higher or lower than a speaker of a North American accented variety of English.

Each subject listened to three different speech samples. Two of the speech samples were provided by the same informant-one in a North American Variety of

English, and one in a Korean-accented variety of English. A third speech sample was provided by a second informant to add space between the other two speech samples. The results show that there is not a consistent pattern of differences in attitudes towards the two speech samples under investigation. There is, however, a suggestion that a common speech community has formed within the subject population, revealing interesting possibilities for the commonalties in scores obtained from the subjects.


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