2 1. Introduction Foreign accent, as an identifying aspect of nonnative speech, has been widely discussed in both the theoretical and pedagogical literature. Still, the elements that contribute to the perception of foreign accent, and, indeed, the objective characteristics of it, remain ill defined. With this in mind, numerous studies have sought to quantify degrees of foreign accentedness by asking groups of listeners to rate speech samples for degrees of foreign accent using a Likert scale. These ratings are then correlated with a range of linguistic and cognitive variables and generalizations drawn. The precise methodology utilized in making such foreign accentedness ratings remains unstandardized, however, and, as a consequence, numerous differences in both specific approaches and findings have been noted across studies. This paper will first summarize the range of approaches represented in the literature. It will then consider listener-based variables, such as degree of familiarity with accented speech, that can influence the judgments made by listeners and the reliability of these. Finally, the findings of these studies insofar as the correlation of accentedness ratings with talker-based factors (such as age of L2 acquisition) and stimulus factors (such as rate of speech) are concerned, will be considered and conclusions drawn.