In the discussion of English as Lingua Franca the question how a "good" or "bad" accent can influence the perception of the speaker as competent or incompetent is missing.
Kuo (2006:218) argues that English "is the language of which they [NNS, ed.] have to demonstrate a degree of mastery so as to win a place in education and employment in their own contexts and abroad".
So learning English is in most settings not just a matter of being intelligible and successful in communication, but also to demonstrate competence. This paper will discuss how accents influence the perception of NNS as competent.
Given the argument for an ELF syllabus to aid international communication between NNS especially in business settings, this is a relevant issue.