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Outer Circle Englishes in the Expanding Circle Classroom: A Qualitative Study on Swedish Teachers’ Attitudes towards Singapore English Accents
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The English language has become more globalised, with different varieties and accents being used around the world. English is no longer merely Received Pronunciation (RP); it is equally as central in countries that belong to what is known as the ‘Outer Circle’ in the context of World Englishes and the Three Circles model (Kachru, 1992a). Citizens of these countries often speak multiple languages and some use English as their first language, although it does not always completely resemble the English used within the ‘Inner Circle’ (the United Kingdom, for example). One of these countries is Singapore, where English has become the official language and is also used as a lingua franca (ELF). While Standard Singapore English is used in formal settings, the local Singlish is more common in everyday situations and most Singaporeans can switch between the two depending on their surroundings (Melchers & Shaw, 2011). These accents are, however, not commonly recognised in Sweden, and less so in a teaching context. In the core content of the subject English 5 in Swedish upper secondary schools it is stated that teaching should incorporate “the spread of English and its position in the world” (Skolverket, 2011, p. 3). Nevertheless, the instructional focus tends to be on the culture and traditions of English-speaking countries instead of language use. Therefore, the present study will investigate teachers’ attitudes towards Outer Circle Englishes and, more specifically, Singapore English. The aim is to answer research questions regarding what attitudes English teachers in Swedish upper secondary schools have towards Outer Circle Englishes, attitude differences regarding teaching experience, and what these teachers can do to incorporate these Englishes in their teaching. The respondents include three experienced and three newly graduated English teachers who all teach in Swedish upper secondary schools. The study has a qualitative approach where the data was collected through semi-structured interviews. To examine Singapore English, the respondents also listened to two audio clips of Singapore English speakers and discussed these accents as well as their attitudes towards them. The results show that teachers from both groups need more knowledge regarding Outer Circle Englishes to acquire a more positive attitude towards these to, in turn, portray this positivity onto their students when discussing the English varieties that exist in the world. The study concludes by suggesting that Outer Circle Englishes need to be explicitly incorporated in the teacher education programme at university for these to be more accepted in the English classroom.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 70
Keywords [en]
World Englishes, Outer Circle Englishes, Singapore English, language attitudes, teaching attitudes
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157366OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157366DiVA, id: diva2:1219380
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Available from: 2018-09-18 Created: 2018-06-15 Last updated: 2018-09-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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