Exploring Thai university students' attitudes towards the accents of other Englishes users
Eric A. Ambele
Mahasarakham University, Thailand
English users naturally exhibit a diverse range of accents when they interact in real-world situations where English serves as a common language for communication among people from various cultural backgrounds. This research, therefore, delves into the attitudes of Thai English major undergraduate students across three programs regarding the accents of English speakers from countries in the Inner Circle, Outer Circle, and Expanding Circle. Using interview data from ten students at a north-eastern Thai university, the study employed a qualitative content analysis method for data interpretation. The results showed that, due to the students' exposure and interactions with individuals from various linguistic and cultural backgrounds, including foreign students and teachers, most of them displayed a favourable attitude towards English accent diversity. They appreciated the unique identity and charm that different accents convey to their speakers. However, a few students still considered Inner Circle accent as the ideal model of English. This suggests that Thai learners have started to recognise accent variations, acknowledging that English is not exclusively owned by a particular nation. Thus, the practice of devaluing English accents from Outer and Expanding Circle countries for not closely resembling Inner Circle accents and judging them as substandard is considered inappropriate.
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|Author: Eric A. Ambele PhD is a lecturer and researcher of applied linguistics and English language teaching, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mahasarakham University, Thailand. His research interests focus on global Englishes and English as a lingua franca, translanguaging, discourse analysis, intercultural language teaching and learning, sociolinguistics, teacher education, identity and development, psycholinguistics, and innovative research methodology.
Please cite as: Ambele, E. A. (2023). Exploring Thai university students' attitudes towards the accents of other Englishes users. Issues in Educational Research, 33(4), 1271-1285. http://www.iier.org.au/iier33/ambele.pdf