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Language Varieties Between Norms and Attitudes

South Slavic Perspectives- Proceedings from the 2013 CALS Conference

Anita Peti-Stantic, Mateusz Milan Stanojevic and Goranka Antunovic

This volume brings together thirteen articles presented at the 27th International Conference of the Croatian Applied Linguistics Society held in Dubrovnik in 2013. The authors explore four groups of issues: stability and change at the intersection of the standard and other varieties; language policy and language attitudes in relation to the status of L1 and L2; bilingualism and multilingualism; translation solutions reaffirming and/or establishing the norm. The articles focus on the contemporary Croatian and Slovenian sociolinguistic situation, relating it to the current situation in Europe.
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A contribution to reconsidering the role of slang and colloquialisms in contemporary foreign language teaching



Register, including slang and colloquialisms, is an essential feature of everyday communication, but it is generally neglected in language teaching. This is particularly important in the context of English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL, also ESL) teaching because of the increasing role of English (mostly American English) as an international language. Learners around the globe are now exposed to the different styles and registers of English through various media, and it can be argued that these items should be included in EFL classrooms. Although slang and colloquialisms are generally associated with spoken rather than written language, there have been recent exceptions. Assuming that they are not an integral part of EFL teaching in Croatia, the study aimed at gaining insight into the knowledge of our university students of these types of expression in the context of EFL reading, and their perceived use of them. The study is based on the following hypotheses: 1) participants will score better on AE reading tasks than on British English reading tasks; 2) they will be more familiar with AE slang and colloquialisms; 3) they will perceive that they use them more frequently in AE. The sample included 89 students, and instruments (questionnaires and cloze tests) were constructed for the purpose of the study. Each hypothesis was confirmed, indicating that the AE variety prevails in this population, but that students generally lack knowledge of slang and colloquial expressions. The paper may contribute to reconsidering the role of this vocabulary in (E)FL teaching,...

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