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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Jochi Kioizaka Bldg. 2F
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 102-0094, Japan
Tel: 03 – 3222 5198, Fax: 03 – 3222 5420


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Homogeneous Social Evaluations? Japanese University Students' Attitudes Towards English Speech Varieties

26. September 2007 / 18:30

Robert McKenzie, University of Glasgow

Language attitude studies involving non-native speakers of English have been
criticised for not providing potentially determining social details about
their samples. Information of this type is particularly important when
conducting language attitude research amongst Japanese learners as there is
currently a paradigm shift in Japan more generally, resulting in a movement
away from the formerly dominant ‚group model‘ towards the provision of
information on social variation amongst the population.

This talk presents the results of an in-depth quantitative study into the
attitudes of 558 Japanese university students towards six varieties of
English speech. The role of differences in the informants‘ gender, level of
self-perceived proficiency in English, level of exposure to English, regional
provenance and perceptions of L1 on their language attitudes is examined. The
findings are discussed in relation to the pedagogical and language planning
implications for the choice of linguistic model in English language inside
Japan and in terms of the methodological importance of the study for
potential future attitudinal research in this area.

Robert McKenzie is a lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at the
Language Centre University of Glasgow.