Nonnative English Speaker Performance on the Basic English Lexicon (BEL) Sentences PurposeThe purpose of this study was to examine sentence-recognition performance for a large, diverse group of nonnative speakers of English on the recently developed Basic English Lexicon (BEL) sentence materials and to determine whether BEL sentence lists are equated in difficulty for this population.MethodThe BEL sentences were presented to 102 ... Article
Article  |   June 01, 2013
Nonnative English Speaker Performance on the Basic English Lexicon (BEL) Sentences
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Stacey Rimikis
    Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing
  • Rajka Smiljanic
    University of Texas, Austin
  • Lauren Calandruccio
    Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing
  • Correspondence to Lauren Calandruccio: Lauren_Calandruccio@med.unc.edu
  • Editor: Sid Bacon
    Editor: Sid Bacon×
  • Associate Editor: Eric Healy
    Associate Editor: Eric Healy×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Hearing Disorders / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Hearing
Article   |   June 01, 2013
Nonnative English Speaker Performance on the Basic English Lexicon (BEL) Sentences
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2013, Vol. 56, 792-804. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0178)
History: Received June 7, 2012 , Accepted September 28, 2012
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, June 2013, Vol. 56, 792-804. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2012/12-0178)
History: Received June 7, 2012; Accepted September 28, 2012
Web of Science® Times Cited: 8

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to examine sentence-recognition performance for a large, diverse group of nonnative speakers of English on the recently developed Basic English Lexicon (BEL) sentence materials and to determine whether BEL sentence lists are equated in difficulty for this population.

MethodThe BEL sentences were presented to 102 nonnative speakers of English with normal hearing and varied linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Five hundred sentences were presented mixed with noise spectrally matched to the target sentences. Subjects completed an online questionnaire providing detailed demographic and linguistic information. Listeners' spoken English proficiency was also assessed using the Versant English Test (Pearson Education, 2010).

ResultsNonnative listeners showed equal word-recognition performance for 3 groups of BEL sentence lists, each group containing sentence lists that had equivalent difficulty. In addition, spoken language proficiency and several demographic and linguistic factors were significantly correlated with BEL performance.

ConclusionThe BEL sentence materials have been tested on a large cohort of nonnative speakers of English and have been found to be appropriate for use in speech-perception testing with this population.

Acknowledgments
This study was funded, in part, by The Capita Foundation. We are indebted to the undergraduate and graduate research assistants in the Speech and Auditory Research Laboratory at Queens College and the UTSoundLab at the University of Texas—Austin. Portions of these data were presented at the 2011 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in San Diego, California, the 2011 meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in San Diego, California, and the 2012 New York State Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention in Saratoga Springs, New York.
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