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Education & Language - Linguistics | The Social Psychology of English as a Global Language - Attitudes, Awareness and Identity in the

The Social Psychology of English as a Global Language

Attitudes, Awareness and Identity in the Japanese Context

Series: Educational Linguistics, Vol. 10

McKenzie, Robert M.

2010, XII, 212 p.

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  • Demonstrates the implications of investigating learners’ attitudes towards specific varieties of the target language
  • Focuses specifically on the spread, acquisition and attitudes towards English in the expanding circle of English use
  • Locates the results obtained within the existing literature on native speaker attitudes

This ground-breaking work is a detailed account of an innovative and in-depth study of the attitudes of in excess of 500 Japanese learners towards a number of standard and non-standard as well as native and non-native varieties of English speech. The research conducted refines the investigation of learner attitudes by employing a range of pioneering techniques of attitude measurement. These methods are largely incorporated from the strong traditions that exist in the fields of social psychology and second language acquisition and utilize both direct and indirect techniques of attitude measurement. The author locates the findings in the context of the wealth of literature on native speaker evaluations of languages and language varieties.

The study is unique in that the results provide clear evidence of both attitude change and high levels of linguistic awareness among the informants of social and geographical diversity within the English language. These findings are analyzed in detail in relation to the global spread of English as well as in terms of the pedagogical implications for the choice of linguistic model employed in English language classrooms both inside and outside Japan.

The issues examined are of particular interest to educators, researchers and students in the fields of applied linguistics, TESOL, second language acquisition, social psychology of language and sociolinguistics. The pedagogical and language policy implications of the findings obtained make essential reading for those with a specific focus on the role of the English language and English language teaching, both in Japan and beyond.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » SLA - Second language acquisition - language acquisition - language classroom - language teaching - native speaker - social psychology

Related subjects » Linguistics

Table of contents 

1.The Global Spread of English and the Role of English in Japan.1.1. Globalisation, the Spread of English and World Englishes.1.2 The English Language in Japan.1.2.1 History of Japanese contact with the English language.1.2.2 English in the Japanese education system.1.2.3 The English language media in Japan.1.2.4 The influence of English in Japan.References.- 2.The Study of Language Attitudes.2.1 Attitudes in Social Psychology.2.1.1 Attitudes and related terms.2.1.2 Mentalist and behaviourist theories of attitudes. 2.1.3 Functions of attitudes.2.2 Language Attitudes.2.2.1 The importance of language attitudes in second language acquisition.2.2.2 The importance of the study of language attitudes in sociolinguistics.References.- 3. Relevant Language Attitude Research.3.1 The Measurement of Language Attitudes.3.1.1 The societal treatment approach.3.1.2 The direct approach.3.1.3 The indirect approach.3.1.4 A mixed methodological approach.3.2 Previous Language Attitude Research.3.2.1 Attitudes of native speakers towards the English language.3.2.2 Language attitudes and non-native speakers.3.2.3 Attitudes towards the English language in Japan.3.2.4 Attitudes towards varieties of English in Japan.References.- 4. The Research Design of the Study.4.1 The Aims of the Study.4.1.1 The research questions.4.2 The Varieties of Speech Selected.4.2.1 The recording of the speech varieties.4.2.2 Background of the selected speakers.4.2.3 Transcript of speakers.4.3 The Choice of Background Variables in the Study.4.4 The Choice of Informants.4.5 The Research Instrument.4.5.1 Part one: the verbal-guise technique.4.5.2 Part two: dialect recognition item.4.5.3 Part three: perceptual dialectology.4.5.4 Part four: background information of participants.4.6 The Pilot Study.4.7 Procedure: The Administration of the Research instrument.References.- 5.The Results and Discussion.5.1 Description of Participants.5.2 Overview of the Statistical Techniques Employed in the Data Analyses.5.2.1 Analysis of variance. 5.2.2 The t-test.5.2.3 Multivariate analysis of variance.5.2.4 Principal components analysis. 5.3 The Verbal-Guise Study: Results of the Speaker Evaluations.5.3.1 Speaker evaluations: preliminary data.5.3.2 Speaker evaluations: all traits.5.3.3 Principal components analysis: the reduction of the data collected.5.3.4 Speaker evaluations: analysis of components extracted.5.4 Effects of Background Variables on Speaker Evaluations.5.4.1 Gender.5.4.2 Self-perceived competence in English.5.4.3 Previous exposure to English.5.4.4 Regional provenance.5.4.5 Summary of main effects of background variables on speaker evaluations. 5.4.6 Interaction effects of background variables on speaker evaluations.5.5 Effects of Perceptions of Non-Standard Japanese on Speaker Evaluations.5.5.1 Preliminary analysis.5.5.2 Summary of effects of perceptions of non-standard Japanese and background variables on speaker evaluations.5.6 Identification of (Speakers of) Varieties of English.5.6.1 Recognition rates.5.6.2 Analysis of identifications and misidentifications.5.6.3 Speaker evaluations and (mis)identification.References.- 6.Wider Implications and Conclusions.6.1 The Research Questions.6.1.1 Are learners able to identify varieties of English Speech?6.1.2 Do learners of English hold different attitudes towards (a) standard/non-standard and (b) native/non-native varieties of English speech? How are the varieties perceived by the learners?6.1.3 What social variables (if any) appear to be significant in determining the learners’ attitudes towards the different varieties of English speech?6.1.4 Do the language attitudes that learners hold towards varieties of their native language influence any perceptions they may have of varieties of English?6.1.5 What are the pedagogical implications (if any) of the findings for the choice of linguistic model(s) e

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