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Workshop on Foreign Accent

8th May 2015

When speaking a second or foreign language, one of the most persistent features is accent. A foreign accent (FA) may have a variety of effects on interlocutors and can even lead to communication breakdowns. In this workshop, invited speakers will present the most relevant research findings regarding foreign accents for professionals who daily face the task of evaluating and teaching foreign languages. During the workshop we will consider, amongst others, questions such as which factors facilitate or hinder pronunciation acquisition, what is the role of sounds as well as intonation and stress in FL communication, what should be the focus of pronunciation lessons, what background knowledge do teachers need to approach pronunciation instruction and how can technology help in FA diagnosis and improvement. The workshop will include a panel discussion in which the invited speakers will address questions proposed by the audience.

This workshop is aimed at primary and secondary school teachers, lecturers, university students and researchers. It will be held entirely in English, but the topics discussed are relevant to foreign accent and to pronunciation teaching in any language.

Venue: Facultad de Letras / Letren Fakultatea, Paseo de la Universidad, 5 / Unibertsitatearen Ibilbidea, 5, 01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz


Prof. Tracey Derwing - University of Alberta, Canada
Tracey Derwing University of Alberta

Prof. Thorsten Piske - Friederich-Alexander University, Germany
Thorsten Piske Friederich-Alexander University

Prof. Jane Setter - University of Reading, UK
Jane Setter University of Reading

Dr Catia Cucchiarini - Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands
Catia Cucchiarini Radboud University of Reading

Dr María Luisa García Lecumberri - Universidad del País Vasco
María Luisa García Lecumberri Universidad del País Vasco

Draft programme

8.30.-9.00 Registration

9.00- 9.10 Opening

9.10-10.10 Prof. Thorsten Piske: Factors affecting the perception and production of L2 speech: Research results and their implications for teaching

10.10-11.10 Prof. Tracey Derwing: Putting an accent on the positive: New directions for L2 pronunciation research and instruction

11.10- 11.40 Coffee Break

11.40-12.20 Dr. Mª Luisa García Lecumberri: Dissecting foreign accent: segmental characteristics of Spanish accented English

12.20 - 13.20 Prof. Jane Setter: Prosody matters: English intonation, prominence and speech rhythm in English Language Teaching

13.20- 15.10 Lunch Break/Coffee

15.10- 16.10 Dr. Catia Cucciarini: Second language pronunciation: The contribution of speech technology to assessment and training

16.10-17.00 Panel discussion with audience participation

17.00 Conference close


The deadline for registration is 15 April 2015. A fee of €26 is payable (€12 students), which includes coffee breaks and lunch. Payment is to BBK Account number: 2095 0292 98 3239000486. Please state as concept (very important): "FA, 2015".

To register, complete the online registration form and forward the bank receipt to:

Secretaria del Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana
Ingeles eta Aleman Filologia Sailaren Idazkaria
Ref. FA, 2015
Facultad de Letras / Letren Fakultatea
Paseo de la Universidad, 5 / Unibertsitatearen Ibilbidea, 5
Apartado de Correos 2111 / 2111 posta-kutxatila
01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz

Getting to Vitoria-Gasteiz

Vitoria-Gasteiz has very good train connections. Check the RENFE website.

The nearest airport with international connections is Bilbao, which is about 1.5 hours away by public transport. You can find a list of airlines flying into Bilbao.

To reach Vitoria-Gasteiz from Bilbao airport, you should catch a bus from the one and only bus stop just outside arrivals. Just stay on the bus until the final stop (Termibus, the Bilbao bus terminal). Buses run every 15-20 minutes and the journey takes about 20-25 minutes. At the Bilbao bus terminal, take a bus run by the company La Union (timetable).

About Vitoria-Gasteiz

Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the Alava province in the Spanish Basque Country. The centre is relatively small and easy to get around on foot. Check out the tourist information and wikipedia entry, (or look at the wikipedia entry in Spanish for more photos).

Contact the organisers

The workshop is organised by LASLAB (Language and Speech Laboratory) at the Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Ingeles eta Aleman Filologia Saila/Dpto. de Filología Inglesa y Alemana.



Last updated: 2nd March 2015