Factors Influencing EFL Learners’ Attitudes toward English Varieties

https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v3i2.623

Authors

Keywords:

EFL, EIL, intercultural communication, L2 speaking confidence, SLA

Abstract

This study explores how intercultural communication and the knowledge of ‘English as an International Language’ (EIL) affect EFL learners’ perception and attitudes toward “non-native” English varieties. Since EIL encourages non-native English speakers to use their own English with expressions reflecting their cultures and identities, introducing EIL in EFL classes is expected to lead EFL learners to positively change their mindset for English varieties and enhance their confidence in their own English. In this research, Japanese and Chinese/Vietnamese college students were divided into two groups and assigned different readings (EIL vs. non-EIL readings) before the discussion on English varieties. After the intercultural communication, participants were asked to write about their ideas on EIL, and their reflective writings were qualitatively analyzed to examine how the knowledge of EIL would influence the students’ attitudes toward English varieties. As a result, the Japanese students who did the EIL readings showed a positive attitude toward “non-native” English varieties, including ‘Japanese English’. In contrast, the Chinese and Vietnamese students showed a negative attitude toward them across the board even after learning about EIL. We aim to investigate the reasons and backgrounds of the results including what makes the difference between the Japanese and the Chinese/Vietnamese students.

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Author Biography

Arifumi Saito, University of Aizu

Arifumi Saito is an English lecturer at the University of Aizu in Japan. He is interested in English as an International Language (EIL) and has introduced the idea in the university EFL classes. In line with the research, he has also investigated the Japanese and international students’ attitudes toward English varieties.

Published

2021-06-29

How to Cite

Saito, A. (2021). Factors Influencing EFL Learners’ Attitudes toward English Varieties. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 3(2), 277–289. https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v3i2.623

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Articles