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'Native-speaker’ varieties of English: Thai perceptions and attitudes

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Navaporn Snodin, Professor Tony Young


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It is important to gauge and explore current Thai perceptions of and attitudes towards varieties of English. Language attitudes are some of the factors that affect language policy direction and institutional practices, and the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN), including, Thailand, are adopting English as their sole official language in 2015, making such an investigation particularly timely. In Thailand, little if any prior research had investigated attitudes. For this questionnaire-based study, research questions investigated which varieties 251 Thai learners of English thought they were actually using; which they saw as their target model; and also explored their attitudes towards different ‘native speaker’ varieties – pre-work had indicated that such varieties still predominated over alternatives such as ‘English as a Lingua Franca’. Responses were analysed using both qualitative and quantitative keyword and content analysis. Findings indicated strong but diverse perceptions of the nature of varieties, and also said something about the dynamic nature or such perceptions and the attitudes of learners in Thailand. We conclude by suggesting how our findings might relate to the realization of current language policy and practice in Thailand, and how they might serve as a stepping stone towards investigations of perceptions across ASEAN and beyond.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Snodin N, Young TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Asian Englishes

Year: 2015

Volume: 17

Issue: 3

Pages: 248-260

Print publication date: 01/09/2015

Online publication date: 16/09/2015

Acceptance date: 08/08/2015

ISSN (print): 1348-8678

ISSN (electronic): 2331-2548

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/13488678.2015.1083354


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