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Accent and Identity in Learner Varieties of English

A Study with German and French University Students in an English as a Lingua Franca Setting

by Stefanie Rottschäfer (Author)
Thesis 368 Pages
Series: Inquiries in Language Learning, Volume 22

Summary

This mixed-methods study investigates the link between accent and identity in an English as a lingua franca setting. The subjects, German and French university students living in Scandinavia, pursue their study programmes and every-day lives in English. A quantitative speech data analysis of eight phonetic features describes the speakers’ accents, while a qualitative analysis of introspective interview data exhibits how they differ in terms of identity. The results provide an in-depth understanding of individuals using English as a lingua franca. Do the German and French speakers of English alter or keep their foreign accents in order to express identity in the seemingly neutral Scandinavian setting?

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title Page
  • Copyright Page
  • Dedication
  • About the book
  • About the author
  • Preface
  • Vorwort
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Theory
  • 1 Identity
  • 1.1 Conceptualisation
  • 1.2 Identity in/through language
  • 1.2.1 Language learner identity
  • 1.2.2 Identity and accent
  • 1.2.3 Attitudes towards accents
  • 1.2.4 Attitudes towards German and French accents
  • 1.2.5 Identity and personal names
  • 1.3 Doing research on identity in learner varieties
  • 2 Accents: Phonetic aspects of learner varieties
  • 2.1 Defining accent
  • 2.2 L2 phonological acquisition
  • 2.2.1 Theoretical concepts in linguistics and SLA
  • 2.2.2 L2 speech perception
  • 2.2.3 Phonological processes
  • 2.3 English L1 and L2 phonology
  • 2.3.1 Received Pronunciation: Segmental and subsegmental features
  • 2.3.2 General American: Segmental and subsegmental features
  • 2.3.3 German learner English
  • 2.3.4 French learner English
  • 2.3.5 Danish learner English
  • 2.3.6 Investigation of mutual features of German and French English learner varieties
  • 3 English as a lingua franca
  • 3.1 Conceptualising, defining and researching English as a lingua franca
  • 3.1.1 English as a lingua franca versus English as a foreign language
  • 3.1.2 The status of English as a lingua franca
  • 3.1.3 English as an academic lingua franca
  • 3.2 Identity in English as a lingua franca
  • 3.3 Pronunciation in English as a lingua franca
  • Part II: The study
  • 4 Methods and methodology
  • 4.1 Research interests
  • 4.2 Mixed methods approach
  • 4.3 Data collection
  • 4.3.1 Setting
  • 4.3.2 Subjects
  • 4.3.3 Questionnaire
  • 4.3.4 Interview
  • 4.3.5 Speech data
  • 4.4 Data analysis
  • 4.4.1 Qualitative content analysis
  • 4.4.2 Speech data analysis
  • Part III: Findings – analysis and discussion
  • 5 Analysis of speech data
  • 5.1 Realisations of the voiced dental fricative
  • 5.2 Realisations of the voiceless dental fricative
  • 5.3 Self-reporting on <th> vs. realisations
  • 5.4 Realisations of the alveolar approximant
  • 5.5 Self-reporting on <r> vs. realisations
  • 5.6 Summary: The realisations of /ð/, /θ/, /r/ and self-reporting
  • 5.7 Orientation towards RP or GA
  • 5.7.1 Self-reporting on pronunciation influences
  • 5.7.2 Rhoticity
  • 5.7.3 The bath vowel
  • 5.7.4 The goat vowel
  • 5.7.5 The lot vowel
  • 5.7.6 Intervocalic /t/
  • 5.7.7 Summary: Orientation towards RP or GA
  • 5.8 Potential influence of ELF context and Danish learner English
  • 6 Qualitative content analysis
  • 6.1 Attitudes towards speaking English
  • 6.1.1 Positive attitudes towards speaking English
  • 6.1.2 Neutral attitudes towards speaking English
  • 6.1.3 Negative attitudes towards speaking English
  • 6.2 Perception of one’s own pronunciation
  • 6.2.1 Orientation towards RP or GA
  • 6.2.2 Perceived accommodation
  • 6.2.3 Reflections on phonology
  • 6.2.4 Reports on pronouncing certain sounds in English
  • 6.2.5 Evaluation of one’s own accent
  • 6.3 Attitudes towards L1 accent
  • 6.3.1 Positive attitudes towards one’s own L1 accent
  • 6.3.2 Neutral attitudes towards one’s own accent
  • 6.3.3 Negative attitudes towards one’s own accent
  • 6.3.4 Attitudes towards a strong L1 accent produced by someone else
  • 6.4 Reported behaviour concerning one’s own L1 accent
  • 6.4.1 Keeping the L1 accent
  • 6.4.2 Showing off the L1 accent
  • 6.4.3 Fighting against the L1 accent
  • 6.5 Reported behaviour towards English speakers
  • 6.5.1 Integration
  • 6.5.2 Distancing
  • 6.6 Attitudes towards L1, home country, nationality
  • 6.7 Perceived effects of one’s accent on others
  • 6.8 Potential identity conflicts in the pronunciation of first names
  • 7 Discussion of results
  • 7.1 The accents of GlE and FlE speakers in an ELF setting
  • 7.2 The awareness of GlE and FlE speakers in an ELF setting concerning their accents
  • 7.3 The perception of GlE and FlE speakers in an ELF setting concerning their accents
  • 7.4 The identity of GlE and FlE speakers in an ELF setting
  • 7.5 Correlations of the subjects’ accents and identity with (learner) biographical data
  • 7.5.1 L1
  • 7.5.2 Age
  • 7.5.3 Gender
  • 7.5.4 Stays abroad
  • 7.5.5 Field of study
  • 7.5.6 Summary
  • 7.6 Using accents in order to express identity
  • 8 Conclusion and prospects for future research
  • 8.1 Scope of results
  • 8.2 Prospects for future research
  • 8.3 Closing remarks
  • List of figures
  • List of tables
  • List of references
  • Appendices
  • I  Phonetic transcriptions
  • II  Exact values of Fisher’s exact and chi-squared tests
  • III  Validation of speech data analysis
  • IV  Interview guide – German
  • V  Interview guide – French
  • VI  Questionnaire – German
  • VII  Questionnaire – French
  • VIII  Subjects categorised into types with selected additional information
  • IX  Native-like percentages of /ð/, /θ/, /r/ according to types
  • X  L1, nationality and home country – original quotes
  • XI  Reflections on phonology – original quotes
  • XII  Self-reporting vs. realisations per individual subjects
  • XIII  Evidence for the categorisation of the subjects into types – original quotes (selection)
  • Inquiries in Language Learning
  • Series Information

Stefanie Rottschäfer

Accent and Identity in Learner Varieties of English

A Study with German and French University Students in an English as a Lingua Franca Setting

Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de.

Zugl.: Bochum, Univ., Diss., 2016

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

A CIP catalog record for this book has been applied for at the Library of Congress.

For Kai

About the book

This mixed-methods study investigates the link between accent and identity in English as a lingua franca setting. The subjects, German and French university students living in Scandinavia, pursue their study programmes and every-day lives in English. A quantitative speech data analysis of eight phonetic features describes the speakers’ accents, while a qualitative analysis of introspective interview data exhibits how they differ in terms of identity. The results provide an in-depth understanding of individuals using English as a lingua franca. Do the German and French speakers of English alter or keep their foreign accents in order to express identity in the seemingly neutral Scandinavian setting?

About the author

Stefanie Rottschäfer is a linguist in the Department of English, American, and Celtic Studies at Bonn University. Her main research interests include phonological second language acquisition, accents in English, English as a lingua franca, and sociolinguistics.

Preface

Language Learning is a field which bridges the gap between the research conducted within Psycholinguistics and the applied research within Foreign Language Didactics. For a long time, these two fields were regarded as separate disciplines, and the emphasis lay on their differences. However, just as there has been a gradual convergence between the concepts of language acquisition and language learning, over the past few years Psycholinguistics and Foreign Language Didactics have also been moving closer together. While Psycholinguistics is taking a growing interest in the classroom context in which language learning takes place, Foreign Language Didactics have fully embraced empirical research which sheds light on the linguistic phenomena found in the interactions within the classroom.

The series Inquiries in Language Learning (Forschungen zu Psycholinguistik und Fremdsprachendidaktik) aims to reflect this development. Since the areas of intersection between these two research fields have a high level of interdisciplinarity, the contributions to this series are relevant in many different ways for educators and researchers who are concerned with language learning. On the one hand, good foreign language or second language teaching requires teachers whose methodological and pedagogical decisions are based on a sound knowledge of language acquisition theory. Furthermore, foreign language textbooks should have a solid empirical foundation. On the other hand, the interpretation of linguistic data requires familiarity with the types of classroom activities and rituals that shape the various learning processes. After all, psycholinguistic research design must attend to the technicalities of classroom teaching and learning in order to obtain authentic results.

In this series we hope to contribute to the cross-disciplinary efforts in our research fields, bringing together psycholinguistic principles and classroom-based developments, thus reconciling theories and methods with research and practice.

Christiane Bongartz

Jutta Rymarczyk←7 | 8→←8 | 9→

Vorwort

Sprachenlernen/ Language Learning ist das Bindeglied, das die naturwissenschaftliche Forschung der Psycholinguistik und die anwendungsorientierte Forschung der Fremdsprachendidaktik zusammenführt. Lange Zeit wurden die Disziplinen getrennt voneinander behandelt und die Betonung lag auf den disparaten Anteilen der beiden Gebiete. Vergleichbar zur Annäherung der Begriffe „Spracherwerb“ und „Sprachenlernen“ (language acquisition und language learning) ist jedoch seit einigen Jahren eine Annäherung der Psycholinguistik und der Fremdsprachendidaktik zu beobachten. Während die Psycholinguistik den schulischen Kontext des Spracherwerbs stärker beachtet, ist aus der Fremdsprachendidaktik die empirische Forschung nicht mehr wegzudenken, die linguistische Phänomene der Interaktion im Klassenzimmer beleuchtet.

Mit der Reihe „Inquiries in Language Learning. Forschungen zu Psycholinguistik und Fremdsprachendidaktik“ wollen wir dieser Entwicklung Rechnung tragen. Da die Schnittstelle der beiden Forschungsgebiete, die durch die Reihe bedient wird, naturgemäß eine hohe Interdisziplinarität aufweist, strahlt ihre Relevanz in unterschiedliche Richtungen aus: Einerseits braucht guter Fremdsprachenunterricht Lehrkräfte, deren methodisch-didaktische Entscheidungen auf detaillierter Kenntnis spracherwerbstheoretischer Aspekte beruhen. Das Schreiben von Lehrbüchern für den Fremdsprachenunterricht muss auf einer soliden empirischen Basis geschehen. Andererseits bedarf die Interpretation psycholinguistischer Daten der Vertrautheit mit Unterrichtsabläufen und den Ritualen, die Vermittlungsprozesse prägen. Das Entwerfen eines psycholinguistischen Forschungsdesigns muss unterrichtstechnische Aspekte einbeziehen, um letztlich authentische Ergebnisse abbilden zu können.

Mit der Gesamtschau unserer Arbeitsbereiche hoffen wir dem Ineinandergreifen und den Verschränkungen von psycholinguistischen Grundlagen und fachdidaktischen Weiterentwicklungen, von Theorien und Methoden sowie von Forschung und Praxis gerecht werden zu können.

Christiane Bongartz

Jutta Rymarczyk←9 | 10→←10 | 11→

Contents

Abbreviations

Introduction

Part I:Theory

1Identity

1.1Conceptualisation

1.2Identity in/through language

1.2.1Language learner identity

1.2.2Identity and accent

1.2.3Attitudes towards accents

1.2.4Attitudes towards German and French accents

1.2.5Identity and personal names

1.3Doing research on identity in learner varieties

2Accents: Phonetic aspects of learner varieties

2.1Defining accent

2.2L2 phonological acquisition

2.2.1Theoretical concepts in linguistics and SLA

2.2.2L2 speech perception

2.2.3Phonological processes

2.3English L1 and L2 phonology

2.3.1Received Pronunciation: Segmental and subsegmental features

2.3.2General American: Segmental and subsegmental features←13 | 14→

2.3.3German learner English

2.3.4French learner English

2.3.5Danish learner English

2.3.6Investigation of mutual features of German and French English learner varieties

3English as a lingua franca

3.1Conceptualising, defining and researching English as a lingua franca

3.1.1English as a lingua franca versus English as a foreign language

3.1.2The status of English as a lingua franca

3.1.3English as an academic lingua franca

3.2Identity in English as a lingua franca

3.3Pronunciation in English as a lingua franca

Part II:The study

4Methods and methodology

4.1Research interests

4.2Mixed methods approach

4.3Data collection

4.3.1Setting

4.3.2Subjects

4.3.3Questionnaire

4.3.4Interview

4.3.5Speech data

4.4Data analysis

4.4.1Qualitative content analysis

4.4.2Speech data analysis←14 | 15→

Part III:Findings – analysis and discussion

5Analysis of speech data

5.1Realisations of the voiced dental fricative

5.2Realisations of the voiceless dental fricative

5.3Self-reporting on <th> vs. realisations

5.4Realisations of the alveolar approximant

5.5Self-reporting on <r> vs. realisations

5.6Summary: The realisations of /ð/, /θ/, /r/ and self-reporting

5.7Orientation towards RP or GA

5.7.1Self-reporting on pronunciation influences

5.7.2Rhoticity

5.7.3The BATH vowel

5.7.4The GOAT vowel

5.7.5The LOT vowel

5.7.6Intervocalic /t/

5.7.7Summary: Orientation towards RP or GA

5.8Potential influence of ELF context and Danish learner English

6Qualitative content analysis

6.1Attitudes towards speaking English

6.1.1Positive attitudes towards speaking English

6.1.2Neutral attitudes towards speaking English

6.1.3Negative attitudes towards speaking English

6.2Perception of one’s own pronunciation

6.2.1Orientation towards RP or GA

6.2.2Perceived accommodation

6.2.3Reflections on phonology←15 | 16→

6.2.4Reports on pronouncing certain sounds in English

6.2.5Evaluation of one’s own accent

6.3Attitudes towards L1 accent

6.3.1Positive attitudes towards one’s own L1 accent

6.3.2Neutral attitudes towards one’s own accent

6.3.3Negative attitudes towards one’s own accent

6.3.4Attitudes towards a strong L1 accent produced by someone else

6.4Reported behaviour concerning one’s own L1 accent

6.4.1Keeping the L1 accent

6.4.2Showing off the L1 accent

6.4.3Fighting against the L1 accent

6.5Reported behaviour towards English speakers

6.5.1Integration

6.5.2Distancing

6.6Attitudes towards L1, home country, nationality

6.7Perceived effects of one’s accent on others

6.8Potential identity conflicts in the pronunciation of first names

Details

Pages
368
ISBN (PDF)
9783631748534
ISBN (ePUB)
9783631748541
ISBN (MOBI)
9783631748558
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783631745649
Language
English
Publication date
2018 (July)
Tags
phonological SLA (Second Language Acquisition) mixed-methods English in Scandinavia learner language quantitative analysis qualitative content analysis
Published
Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien 2018. 368 pp., 20 fig. b/w, 46 tables, 13 appendices

Biographical notes

Stefanie Rottschäfer (Author)

Stefanie Rottschäfer is a linguist in the Department of English, American and Celtic Studies at Bonn University. Her main research interests include phonological second language acquisition, accents in English, English as a lingua franca, and sociolinguistics.

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Title: Accent and Identity in Learner Varieties of English