Attitudes towards English as a Foreign Language in a Multicultural Context - A Study Carried out from the Perspectives of Identity, Social Context and Future Use

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Attitudes towards English as a Foreign Language in a Multicultural Context - A Study Carried out from the Perspectives of Identity, Social Context and Future Use

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Publication Student thesis
Title Attitudes towards English as a Foreign Language in a Multicultural Context - A Study Carried out from the Perspectives of Identity, Social Context and Future Use
Author(s) Olsson, Joanna ; Larsson, Therese
Date 2008
English abstract
The aim of this essay has been to gain knowledge about pupils' attitudes towards English as a foreign language and to find out in what ways pupils' cultural backgrounds affect these attitudes. Pupils' attitudes have been investigated from the perspectives of identity, social context and thoughts about future use. A final aim has been to find out what pupils think about their own motivation in the English classroom in relation to these attitudes. The research has been carried out at two different Compulsory schools in year nine, with different degrees of multiculturalism. Questionnaires have been made use of as a preparation for the interviews and in order to discern interesting tendencies. The main focus of our study has, however, been on eight qualitative in-depth interviews. The results show that pupils no matter of their cultural background and mother tongue have a great input of the English language which they also highly value. What's more, they have plans for the future which include the English language. In the same way, the English language is highly regarded by people in their social context. From this information we understand that pupils do find that the English language enriches their identity and plays an important role in their lives. Furthermore, we have found that the fact that pupils have another mother tongue than Swedish does not affect their attitudes towards English in a negative way. Instead, the contact with the English language and English-speaking culture seems to be viewed as yet another investment in their cultural capital. The three languages seem to play different roles and have different functions in the pupils' lives and hence complement each other.
Swedish abstract
Syftet med denna uppsats har varit att undersöka elevers attityder till engelskan som främmande språk och hur dessa attityder påverkas av elevernas kulturella bakgrund. Elevernas attityder har undersökts utifrån perspektiven identitet, socialt sammanhang och framtida användning. Ytterligare ett syfte har varit att ta reda på vad eleverna utifrån dessa attityder tänker om deras egen motivation i det engelska klassrummet. Undersökningen har genomförts i skolår 9 vid två olika grundskolor. Vi har använt oss av såväl enkäter som kvalitativa intervjuer. De sistnämnda har dock legat till grund för den slutliga analysen. Resultatet visar att elever oavsett kulturell bakgrund och modersmål har mycket engelsk "input" och denna värdesätter de högt. De har även framtidsplaner där engelskan har en given plats. Även i elevernas sociala sammanhang värdesätter man det engelska språket högt. Från detta resultat har vi dragit slutsatsen att eleverna upplever att engelskan berikar deras identitet och spelar en viktig roll i deras liv. Dessutom har vi funnit att det faktum att eleverna har andra modersmål än svenska inte påverkar deras attityd till engelskan på ett negativt sätt. Tvärtom verkar de se kontakten med det engelska språket och den engelsktalande kulturen som ytterligare en investering i deras kulturella kapital. De tre språken verkar spela olika roller och har oika funktioner i elevernas liv och på så sätt komplementera varandra.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Lärarutbildningen
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) English Language
Identity
Attitudes
Cultural Background
Motivation
Compulsury School
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/5746 (link to this page)

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