Language attitudes and L2 motivational orientations: a study of Japanese secondary school students of English

Saito, Akihiro (2006) Language attitudes and L2 motivational orientations: a study of Japanese secondary school students of English. Coursework Masters thesis, University of Southern Queensland. (Unpublished)

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In Japan, people seem to look to native speakers’ English when it comes to deciding the preferred instructional model in their English language learning (Honna, 1995; Tsuda, 1992, 1997). However, taking into account the growing significance of the international lingua franca, the Japanese obsession with and preference for native speakers’ English over nonnatives’ may be detrimental to their English as an L2 (second/foreign language). Ideally, learners may want to develop positive attitudes towards any varieties of English no matter whether native or nonnative since learner attitudes to the target language have an impact on the level of L2 proficiency (Ellis, 1994, p. 198). Yet, little research has looked into Japanese secondary school learners’ language attitudes towards varieties of English.
In an attempt to address this research need, the present study explored Japanese attitudes towards varieties of English in terms of the three concentric circle model (Kachru, 1985, 1992), L2 motivation (motivation to learn an L2) and their interrelationships. It adopted a survey-based mixed-method approach that involved a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques. Data was collected through a survey that comprised questionnaire and interviewing with 175 senior secondary students who were learning English as a school subject at two different regional locations in Japan.
The study found, first, that US English was most widely recognised as the variety of English taught at Japanese schools. Second, students held more positive attitudes to native varieties, representing the inner circle, than to nonnative counterparts. Third, their L2 motivations were more strongly conceived in relation to English-speaking countries/nations than non-English-speaking counterparts. Fourth, there was a significant positive correlation between attitudes to native varieties of English and L2 motivational orientations: the more positive the attitudes to native varieties, the stronger their L2 motivational orientations.

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Item Type: Thesis (Non-Research) (Coursework Masters)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Coursework Masters thesis. This is a dissertation for a coursework Masters programme.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Dr Aniko Hatoss
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2010 00:20
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 05:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: language attitudes; English as a second language; Japan
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2004 Linguistics > 200401 Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics
Fields of Research (2020): 47 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 4704 Linguistics > 470401 Applied linguistics and educational linguistics

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