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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Major ESRC Project to Study Accent and Fair Access awarded to Levon, Sharma, and collaborators

We are excited to announce that QMUL linguists Dr Erez Levon and Professor Devyani Sharma have been awarded a large ESRC grant with collaborators at QMUL and York.


A grant of almost £600,000 has been awarded by the ESRC to a group of three researchers based at Queen Mary University of London (Erez Levon, Devyani Sharma, and Ghazala Azmat) and one at York (Dominic Watt). The aim of the project is to investigate attitudes to regional accents in Britain today, and the effects that accent bias may or may not have on access to the professions among speakers of different varieties of English in the UK. Combining methods from Linguistics, Psychology, and Economics, the project will focus on the role of accent and other speech factors in people's ability to judge competence in hiring contexts, both members of the public and recruiters in law firms in London and Leeds.