This study aims to investigate the effects of phonetic distance, learning context and learner proficiency on L2 perception of English liquids. Reaction time difference between the pre- and post-tests was analyzed. Results showed that the natural context induced the most progress for participants of a lower L2 proficiency level, while no preference was shown for those of a higher proficiency level. In general, L2 learners showed more progress for liquids occurring in novel phonotactic structures. Phone effect was significant only when L2 learners of lower proficiency perceived liquids in the singleton position.