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Swedish students use of american english and english english vocabulary
2001 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper was to investigate Swedish upper secondary school students’ attitudes towards American and English people and to see whether their attitudes in any respect influence their vocabulary or way of speaking. In my investigation 23 students in their first year of upper secondary school participated. The students’ attitudes were investigated by means of interviews and the vocabulary was tested in a written test, which served two purposes: (1) to see whether American English (AmEng) words or English English (EngEng) words came most naturally to the students and (2) to see if they were able to distinguish between AmEng and EngEng vocabulary. By comparing the students’ results of the test and what they said in the interview, I have tried to conclude whether their attitudes in some way influence their vocabulary. This paper also gives an account of prevalent differences between AmEng and EngEng, the role of RP in English education and consequences of attitudes towards language variation. The results of the investigation support the theory that attitudes towards a language and its speakers have an influence on language acquisition. According to this study AmEng was the more popular variety among the students and the average student’s vocabulary consisted of 70% AmEng and 30% EngEng. The students’ awareness of lexical differences between AmEng and EngEng proved to be rather low and therefore, the conclusion can be drawn that the students do not consciously choose words due to their attitudes. However, it may be the case that they unconsciously choose more AmEng words than EngEng words as a result of their attitudes.

Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper was to investigate Swedish upper secondary school students’ attitudes towards American and English people and to see whether their attitudes in any respect influence their vocabulary or way of speaking. In my investigation 23 students in their first year of upper secondary school participated. The students’ attitudes were investigated by means of interviews and the vocabulary was tested in a written test, which served two purposes: (1) to see whether American English (AmEng) words or English English (EngEng) words came most naturally to the students and (2) to see if they were able to distinguish between AmEng and EngEng vocabulary. By comparing the students’ results of the test and what they said in the interview, I have tried to conclude whether their attitudes in some way influence their vocabulary. This paper also gives an account of prevalent differences between AmEng and EngEng, the role of RP in English education and consequences of attitudes towards language variation. The results of the investigation support the theory that attitudes towards a language and its speakers have an influence on language acquisition. According to this study AmEng was the more popular variety among the students and the average student’s vocabulary consisted of 70% AmEng and 30% EngEng. The students’ awareness of lexical differences between AmEng and EngEng proved to be rather low and therefore, the conclusion can be drawn that the students do not consciously choose words due to their attitudes. However, it may be the case that they unconsciously choose more AmEng words than EngEng words as a result of their attitudes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 31 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53669Local ID: ENG C-12OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53669DiVA: diva2:1102229
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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