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Exploring Near-Nativeness in Second-Language English Speakers

Jang, Migyeong (2017)
Honors Thesis (35 pages)
Committee Chair / Thesis Adviser: Pak, Marjorie
Committee Members: Barber, Jessica M ; Goss, Seth J
Research Fields: Linguistics
Keywords: Near-Nativeness; Second Language Acquisition; Grammaticality Judgment Test
Program: College Honors Program, Linguistics
Permanent url:


Near-nativeness is a concept applicable to a highly proficient second-language (L2) speaker who is nearly indistinguishable from native (L1) speakers. In this study, L1 and L2 English speakers' performances in an oral production task and a Grammaticality Judgment Test (GJT) were examined, respectively aiming to assess proficiency in spoken communication and internal knowledge of English grammar. By gauging two possible close correlates of near-nativeness, the study strove to explore the concept and its implications. A positive yet imperfect significant correlation was found between the performances in the oral production task and the GJT, leading to the conclusion that GJT can be a useful measure of linguistic competence in near-native research. The results also showed that the mean scores of L1 speakers were significantly higher than that of L2 speakers in both the GJT and the oral production task. This finding is in favor of the idea that there is a meaningful difference in language use between L1 speakers and highly proficient L2 speakers. Acknowledging such differences can lead L2 learners to set more realistic and thus more appropriate goals of language learning.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction (p. 1)

2. Method (p. 4)

A. Participants (p. 4)

B. Materials (p. 5)

C. Study Design and Procedure (p. 8)

3. Results (p. 9)

4. Discussion (p. 14)

5. References (p. 17)

6. Appendix (p. 19)


application/pdf Exploring Near-Nativeness in Second-Language English Speakers 35 pages (533 KB) [Access copy of Honors Thesis]
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