Impact of an audio picture book on elementary school students’ perceptions of American and British accents

Ching-yun Chen & Hsiao-tzu Yang, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Taiwan, ID CLEaR2017-418;      Abstract: For the last decade, a few studies have examined college students’ perceptions of distinct English accents (Tokumoto, 2011). However, none has been conducted to explore how elementary school students respond to different English accents. Accordingly, this study analyzes children’s perceptions of different accents. Thirty elementary school fourth graders in central Taiwan participated in this research. A questionnaire was used before the instruction to understand their impressions of the English language. Next, they were taught English with a picture book that contains the audio clips based on General American English and Standard British English. Finally, they were given the same questionnaire to investigate to what extent they changed their stereotypes. Ten of them were also interviewed to understand their learning processes. The results indicate that most of the fourth graders have changed their initial impressions. They also noticed that British English sound different from American English they used to speak and listen to. This study will present the differences between their pre- and post-instruction impressions and the sound differences they are able to identify after the given instruction.

Keywords: accents, perceptions, children, picture book