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Multilingual South Asian English language teachers’ attitudes to English language varieties and the impact on their teaching beliefs

Multilingual South Asian English language teachers’ attitudes to English language varieties and the impact on their teaching beliefs
Multilingual South Asian English language teachers’ attitudes to English language varieties and the impact on their teaching beliefs
Recent changes at a global level in terms of migration patterns and telecommunications have destabilised many pre-established concepts. The notion of diaspora has given way to trans-localism and communities can no longer be conceived of as discreet homogenous units. Other language related concepts such as multilingualism, code-mixing, speech communities and language itself have been scrutinised and undermined by research in translanguaging, superdiversity, English as a Lingua Franca, World Englishes and language ideologies.

In Britain new migrants from a myriad of different locations co-exist with older migrants and the local white British population in what has been termed as superdiversity. This study focuses on older migrants who interact with newer migrants within the classroom, in a teacher-student relationship, and also to a degree outside the classroom. It reports on the attitudes of multilingual English language teachers to varieties of English and how this influences their teaching practices. I interviewed and conducted focus group discussions with first and second generation migrants between January 2012 and February 2013. The participants are representative of two conflicting ideologies. On the one hand the participants have varying degrees of experience with indigenised non-native varieties of English through travel, from learning English in a context outside Britain, and through family and friendship networks. On the other hand they also have the responsibility to teach British Standard English to students who may already be speaking a fluent stable variety of English. The aim of the study was to understand how the participants reconciled conflicting attitudes about language and the extent to which this impacted on their teaching practices.

The main findings of the study are that while many of the teachers are aware of and open to different variation in spoken English, this predominantly related to pronunciation. However there were clear differences between first and second generation migrants which appear to be related to the participant’s experience of different societal ideologies. This translated into different attitudes about correct language and their beliefs about their teaching practices. While first generation migrants’ attitudes showed evidence of being influenced by dual ideologies, second generation migrants’ attitudes more closely reflected societal ideologies in the UK.
Weekly, Robert
57e032f5-73af-413e-89d7-c82e14cf06fd
Weekly, Robert
57e032f5-73af-413e-89d7-c82e14cf06fd
Jenkins, Jennifer
7daf0457-86d0-4c08-af4b-79641d1f7fd0
BUDACH, GABRIELE
0ef7057b-886a-4821-bf3d-50b2ca84e1b1

Weekly, Robert (2015) Multilingual South Asian English language teachers’ attitudes to English language varieties and the impact on their teaching beliefs. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 338pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Recent changes at a global level in terms of migration patterns and telecommunications have destabilised many pre-established concepts. The notion of diaspora has given way to trans-localism and communities can no longer be conceived of as discreet homogenous units. Other language related concepts such as multilingualism, code-mixing, speech communities and language itself have been scrutinised and undermined by research in translanguaging, superdiversity, English as a Lingua Franca, World Englishes and language ideologies.

In Britain new migrants from a myriad of different locations co-exist with older migrants and the local white British population in what has been termed as superdiversity. This study focuses on older migrants who interact with newer migrants within the classroom, in a teacher-student relationship, and also to a degree outside the classroom. It reports on the attitudes of multilingual English language teachers to varieties of English and how this influences their teaching practices. I interviewed and conducted focus group discussions with first and second generation migrants between January 2012 and February 2013. The participants are representative of two conflicting ideologies. On the one hand the participants have varying degrees of experience with indigenised non-native varieties of English through travel, from learning English in a context outside Britain, and through family and friendship networks. On the other hand they also have the responsibility to teach British Standard English to students who may already be speaking a fluent stable variety of English. The aim of the study was to understand how the participants reconciled conflicting attitudes about language and the extent to which this impacted on their teaching practices.

The main findings of the study are that while many of the teachers are aware of and open to different variation in spoken English, this predominantly related to pronunciation. However there were clear differences between first and second generation migrants which appear to be related to the participant’s experience of different societal ideologies. This translated into different attitudes about correct language and their beliefs about their teaching practices. While first generation migrants’ attitudes showed evidence of being influenced by dual ideologies, second generation migrants’ attitudes more closely reflected societal ideologies in the UK.

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More information

Published date: October 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 398692
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/398692
PURE UUID: 4cb5026a-dd75-445e-b14e-8c71cfb97927

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2016 13:03
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 18:29

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Contributors

Author: Robert Weekly
Thesis advisor: Jennifer Jenkins
Thesis advisor: GABRIELE BUDACH

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