A couple of days ago, an interesting discussion on accent in L2 teaching took place among some of the members of the AusELT Facebook Group after a link to a pronunciation course was posted. Accent has been a hot topic in L2 teaching because of its connection to, for example, speaker identity. However, something that research has been able to establish quite clearly is that a speaker can have a strong accent yet be perfectly intelligible and comprehensible (i.e. easily understood). Instead of summarizing research papers published in this fascinating area, I've decided to post a few references for your perusal. This list is, of course, not exhaustive, and so feel free to add any (accent-related) articles you think would be worthwhile for L2 teachers and researchers to read.
Bao, Z. (2003). Social stigma and grammatical autonomy in nonnative varieties of English. Language in Society, 32(01), 23-46.
Buckingham, L. (2015). Shades of cosmopolitanism: EFL teachers' perspectives on English accents and pronunciation teaching in the Gulf. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 1-16.
Hayes-Harb, R., & Hacking, J. (2015). Beyond rating data: What do listeners believe underlies their accentedness judgments? Journal of Second Language Pronunciation, 1(1), 43-64.
Lev-Ari, S., & Keysar, B. (2010). Why don't we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(6), 1093-1096.
Munro, M. J. (2003). A primer on accent discrimination in the Canadian context. TESL Canada Journal, 20(2), 38-51.
Munro, M. J., & Derwing, T. M. (1995). Foreign accent, comprehensibility and intelligibility in the speech of second language learners. Language Learning, 45(1), 73-97.
Murphy, J. (2014). Intelligible, comprehensible, non-native models in ESL/EFL pronunciation teaching. System, 42(0), 258-269.
I am a Lecturer in TESOL at the University of Wollongong in Australia. I blog about L2 learning, L2 teaching, L2 teacher education, and research.