Volume 45, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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Native speakers of English commonly perceive some social variants of their language to be more prestigious than others. It is less clear, however, whether nonnative English speakers from immigrant communities come to internalize similar language stereotypes. The present study analysed, through a language attitude survey, a total of 40 Korean American college students’ reactions to tape-recorded samples of five socially stratified varieties of English commonly heard in the U.S. Results indicated that Korean American college students perceived a Standard American English (SAE) typical of broadcast English in the U.S. most favourably. Nonstandard varieties (regional and ethnic dialects), especially African American English, were judged as less favourable. SAE and its speaker was associated with positive qualities on rating scales, while nonstandard guises were rated less favourably on the same characteristics. This study provides a greater understanding of how different English varieties are perceived by an immigrant community in the U.S. and invites future studies of English language attitudes in other minority communities.


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