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Multilingua

Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid


IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.404
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CiteScore 2017: 1.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.546
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1613-3684
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Volume 33, Issue 3-4

Issues

Questioning English standards: Learner attitudes and L2 choices in Norway

Ulrikke Rindal
Published Online: 2014-06-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0015

Abstract

This study investigates attitudes towards varieties of English among Norwegian adolescent learners and assesses the role of social evaluation for second language (L2) pronunciation choices by combining a verbal guise test with speaker commentary and reports of language choices. The results suggest that while American English is the most accessible English accent and the preferred L2 choice, Standard Southern British English remains the most prestigious English accent and retains its position as a formal English language teaching standard. However, not all learners want to convey the social meanings attributed to these widely identified English varieties, and therefore aim towards a “neutral” variety of English not associated with any native-English-speaking people or culture. The avoidance of standard varieties as L2 targets suggests that the tradition of questioning standard language norms in Norway is mirrored in L2 practices. The investigations into social motivations for L2 behaviour contribute to the ongoing discourse on the global spread and local appropriation of English. The results have implications for English language educators, who must meet the needs of proficient learners in an environment with increased intra-national use of English and no explicit model of pronunciation.

Keywords: language attitudes; second language learning; English accents; sociolinguistic awareness; standard; issues of variation in teaching English; Norway

About the article

Published Online: 2014-06-02

Published in Print: 2014-06-01


Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 33, Issue 3-4, Pages 313–334, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0015.

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