2009 | 45 | 4 | 525-547
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Plus Ça Change… Serbian EFL Students' Attitudes Towards Varieties of English

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This paper presents the findings of a sociolinguistic study investigating the attitudes of adult Serbian EFL students (N=114), trained as future EFL teachers, to 8 regional and 2 EFL varieties of English, relative to accent identification. A modified verbal-guise technique, based on semantic differential scales for 15 traits in the dimensions of social prestige, social closeness, and personal integrity, was combined with a direct-method questionnaire. The findings show that the participants were not familiar enough with different regional accents, but, rather, that they relied on broad constructs such as "British" or "American" English. They expressed conservative attitudes, rating most favourably the varieties they associated with the notions of "standard" and "correct", and least favourably those associated with common negative stereotypes or "foreign" accents. In the light of the participants' meagre results in accent recognition, we argue that further language attitude research is needed in the EFL context, where attitudes to varieties gain even more weight with the shift towards education for intercultural communication.
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  • University of Niš
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