Flawed self-assessment: Investigating self- and other-perception of second language speech

Pavel Trofimovich, Talia Isaacs, Sara Kennedy, Kazuya Saito, Dustin Crowther

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


This study targeted the relationship between self- and other-assessment of accentedness and comprehensibility in second language (L2) speech, extending prior social and cognitive research documenting weak or non-existing links between people's self-assessment and objective measures of performance. Results of two experiments (N = 134) revealed mostly inaccurate self-assessment: speakers at the low end of the accentedness and comprehensibility scales overestimated their performance; speakers at the high end of each scale underestimated it. For both accent and comprehensibility, discrepancies in self- versus other-assessment were associated with listener-rated measures of phonological accuracy and temporal fluency but not with listener-rated measures of lexical appropriateness and richness, grammatical accuracy and complexity, or discourse structure. Findings suggest that inaccurate self-assessment is linked to the inherent complexity of L2 perception and production as cognitive skills and point to several ways of helping L2 speakers align or calibrate their self-assessment with their actual performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-140
Number of pages19
JournalBilingualism: Language and Cognition
Issue number1
Early online date29 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Flawed self-assessment: Investigating self- and other-perception of second language speech'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this