English or Swedish - where, when and why: Young people’s attitudes towards English in Sweden
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 180 HE creditsStudent thesis
The global development with an increased need to communicate internationally has given the English language a prominent role worldwide. Consequently, English has become an important linguistic tool in Swedish society and is now incorporated in several domains. Apart from being a lingua franca, used as a vehicular language by speakers of different first languages, English is frequently used in education and in many workplaces. It is also a language often heard on TV and when using a computer. We are surrounded by English more or less every day. There are different views on how this affects Swedish society. Some people believe that Swedish is strong enough to survive the English impact while others are concerned that English might pose a threat to the future of Swedish as Sweden’s main official language. The speakers that seem to be most committed to this issue are Swedish adults who were brought up at a time when English was not as widely used. However, we rarely hear about young people’s opinions. Today’s younger generation has been exposed to English from an early age and it is interesting to study how this might have affected their attitudes to the current and future linguistic situation. In this project, semi-structured interviews have been carried out with six informants aged from 18 to 24 to investigate their use of English and their attitudes to this use. All informants predicted a further strengthening of the English language in the coming years but disagreed as to whether it might replace Swedish as our main official language. This study does not aim to convey an overall picture of young people’s attitudes; however, it can be seen as a basis for further discussion on the subject.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 27 p.
English in Sweden, attitudes, domain loss, language shift
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-100277OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-100277DiVA: diva2:692422
Björkman, Beyza, Assisiate Senior Lecturer
Shaw, Philip, Professor