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Second Language Learners’ Attitudes Towards French Varieties: The Roles of Learning Experiences and Social Networks


Second Language Learners’ Attitudes Towards French Varieties: The Roles of Learning Experiences and Social Networks

Lindberg, Rachael (2019) Second Language Learners’ Attitudes Towards French Varieties: The Roles of Learning Experiences and Social Networks. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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People often believe that certain language varieties are more prestigious than others (e.g., Kircher, 2014; Zhang & Hu, 2008), which can cause speech from perceived substandard varieties to trigger biases and inform social judgements of the speaker (Giles & Billings, 2004). These language-centered biases likely develop from classroom or cultural experience (Giles et al., 1974), but it is largely unknown what types of language experience and exposure might mitigate language biases, especially for second language (L2) learners engaged in classroom language learning. This study’s goal was to extend the limited knowledge on the effects of experience on L2 learners’ language-centered biases by focusing on L2 French learners’ attitudes towards different French varieties.

Participants included 106 L2 French learners from various proficiency levels engaged in L2 French learning in Montreal, a city characterized by negative attitudes towards speakers of Quebec French. Participants rated two audios recorded by native speakers from France in a listening comprehension task, with one of the two speakers introduced as a speaker of Quebec French. They described their language learning experience, filled out a French social network questionnaire, and completed a French proficiency test. Results showed that participants engaged in reverse linguistic stereotyping, preferring to speak like one speaker significantly more than the other, based on the speaker’s assumed identity, not actual speech. Speech ratings were also largely associated with participants’ positive experiences in Quebec. Findings have implications for the use of speech models in L2 teaching and for the mitigation of language-centered biases in L2 classrooms.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Lindberg, Rachael
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Applied Linguistics
Date:1 April 2019
Thesis Supervisor(s):Trofimovich, Pavel
Keywords:Language attitudes, reverse linguistic stereotyping, French varieties, second language learners, French learners
ID Code:985206
Deposited By: Rachael Lindberg
Deposited On:17 Jun 2019 15:35
Last Modified:17 Jun 2019 15:35


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