Varieties of English: Taiwanese attitudes and perceptions

Chien, S. (2014) Varieties of English: Taiwanese attitudes and perceptions. Newcastle and Northumbria Working Papers in Linguistics, 20, pp. 1-15.

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Non-native speakers (NNS) of English outnumber native speakers (NS) in the 21st Century (Crystal 2003). This shift points to increasing opportunities for the speaker of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to use English to communicate not only with NS, but also with NNS of English. How does this globalised phenomenon affect people’s attitudes towards the different varieties of English? This research examines the attitudes of Taiwanese people to different varieties of English: Australian English (AE), General American English (GAE), Indian English (IE), Japanese English (JE), Spanish English (SE), Standard Southern British English (SSBE) and Taiwanese English (TE). Analysis of 317 responses showed an overwhelming preference for the native variety GAE in terms of both status and solidarity, which might result from the fact that GAE is the most commonly used ELT model in Taiwan. Additionally, participants demonstrated different evaluations on the dimensions of status and solidarity: where in-group identity is concerned, TE was less stigmatized in terms of solidarity than status. This finding parallels the study of Garrett et al. (2003) who found that listener-judges seem to prefer their own variety on the solidarity dimension and native varieties with higher prestige in terms of status. I compare these findings to previous research and discuss what they might mean for the status of English in an increasingly globalized world.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Language attitudes, varieties of English, verbal-guise test, Taiwan.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Chien, Ms Shouchun
Authors: Chien, S.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Journal Name:Newcastle and Northumbria Working Papers in Linguistics
Publisher:University of Newcastle upon Tyne

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