Meaning in English: L2 attitudes, choices and pronunciation in Norway
AbstractEnglish is the language of international communication, and the status of English is increasingly characterised by speakers who use it as a second or later language (L2). In Norway there is considerable English language proficiency and domain uses, and therefore we might expect an increase in language variation and with it the need to investigate social aspects of language use. This thesis reports an interdisciplinary study of the L2 practices among 97 Norwegian adolescents from four upper-secondary schools in Oslo. Using theory and methods from both sociolinguistics and applied linguistics, the study explores the social meanings of L2 English as used by Norwegian learners. The study uses auditory analysis to investigate the pronunciation of English among the participants, and explores their language attitudes with an evaluation test combined with speaker commentary. Data from a questionnaire and interviews are used to discuss potential social meanings of L2 choices. The analyses show patterned variation in the L2 of Norwegian learners: English accents are socially evaluated by the participants, not only when these accents are spoken by native speakers of English, but also when these are appropriated by peers. The participants’ pronunciation reflects the social reality in which they practice language; showing traces of social evaluations, pragmatic considerations, media influence and language competence. The overall results suggest that Norwegian learners can express local and individual identity through English. This study shows that speaking English is a social practice for Norwegian adolescent learners. This acknowledgement has implications for educators concerned with English language teaching, who are encouraged to take social aspects into account when developing curricula and instructional design. The study was carried out at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.
List of papers
|Article 1: Rindal, U. (2010). Constructing identity with L2: Pronunciation and attitudes among Norwegian learners of English. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 14(2), 240-261. The paper is not available in DUO due to publisher restrictions. The published version is available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2010.00442.x|
|Article 2: Rindal, U. (2014). Learner attitudes and L2 choices in Norway. Awaiting editor decision for Language Awareness. Multilingua - Journal of Cross-cultural and Interlanguage Communiciation 33(3-4), 313-334. Author version is included in the the thesis. Published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0015|
|Article 3: Rindal, U., & Piercy, C. (2013). Being ‘neutral’? English pronunciation among Norwegian learners. World Englishes, 32(2), 211-229. Author version is included in the the thesis. Published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1111/weng.12020|