Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0920-9034
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9870
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This study investigated the relationship between socio-economic status, age, gender, and literacy level and Haitian Gonâviens‘ attitudes towards Haitian Creole or Kreyòl and French. Most studies that investigated language attitudes of Creolophones have found that they have negative attitudes towards Kreyòl. Nevertheless, previous studies often included participants who are affiliated with education such as students, teachers, and language policy makers, or those from higher social classes. The current study, however, utilized a language attitudes questionnaire to collect data from 78 adult informants from diverse backgrounds. These participants included 21 highly literate, 51 partially literate and 6 illiterate Haitians. Findings revealed that participants of higher socio-economic status have more positive attitudes towards French than those from lower socio-economic status. Results also showed that there is a tendency for age, gender, and literacy level to affect language attitudes. For instance, positive attitudes towards Kreyòl were found to be more prevalent among older participants than younger respondents. Similarly, male participants had more negative attitudes towards French than female informants. Moreover, respondents of lower literacy levels had more negative attitudes towards French than those who were highly literate.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Adegbija, Efurosibina E.
    1994Language attitudes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A sociolinguistic overview (Vol.103). Multilingual matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baker, Colin
    1992Attitudes and language. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Bengtsson, Mariette
    2016 How to plan and perform a qualitative study using content analysis. NursingPlus Open, 2, 8–14. 10.1016/j.npls.2016.01.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.npls.2016.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bourhis, Richard Y., & Itesh, Sachdev
    1984 Vitality perceptions and language attitudes: Some Canadian data. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 3(2), 97–126. 10.1177/0261927X8400300202
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0261927X8400300202 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bradac, James J.
    1990 Language attitudes and impression formation. InGiles, H. and Robinson, W. P. (Eds), Handbook of Language and Social Psychology, pp.387–412. Wiley, Chichester.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Cargile, Aaron C., Howard, Giles, Ellen B. Ryan, & James J. Bradac
    1994 Language attitudes as a social process: A conceptual model and new directions. Language and Communication, 14(3), 211–236. 10.1016/0271‑5309(94)90001‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0271-5309(94)90001-9 [Google Scholar]
  7. Crystal, David
    1997 A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics, 4th ed.Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Davies, W.
    1995Linguistic variation and language attitudes in Mannheim-Neckarau. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. DeGraff, Michel
    2003 Against Creole exceptionalism. Language, 79(2), 391–410. 10.1353/lan.2003.0114
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2003.0114 [Google Scholar]
  10. (2016) Mother-tongue books in Haiti: The power of Kreyòl in learning to read and in reading to learn. Prospects, 46(3–4), 435–464. 10.1007/s11125‑017‑9389‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s11125-017-9389-6 [Google Scholar]
  11. DeGraff, Michel & Glenda S. Stump
    2018a An n bati lekòl tèt an wo: Lang manman, pedagoji ak teknoloji kòm engredyan fondal natal pou yon chanjman radikal. Journal of Haitian Studies, 24(2), 114–124. 10.1353/jhs.2018.0019
    https://doi.org/10.1353/jhs.2018.0019 [Google Scholar]
  12. 2018b Kreyòl, pedagogy, and technology for opening up quality education in Haiti: Changes in teachers’ metalinguistic attitudes as first steps in a paradigm shift. Language, 94(2), e127–e157. 10.1353/lan.2018.0030
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2018.0030 [Google Scholar]
  13. Dejean, Yves
    1983 Diglossia revisited: French and creole in Haiti. Word, 34(3), 189–213. 10.1080/00437956.1983.11435744
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00437956.1983.11435744 [Google Scholar]
  14. 1993 An overview of the language situation in Haiti. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 102, 73–83. 10.1515/ijsl.1993.102.73
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.1993.102.73 [Google Scholar]
  15. Dörnyei, Zoltán. & Kata, Csizér
    2002 Some dynamics of language attitudes and motivation: Results of a longitudinal nationwide survey. Applied linguistics, 23(4), 421–462. 10.1093/applin/23.4.421
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/23.4.421 [Google Scholar]
  16. Edwards, John R.
    1982 Language attitudes and their implication among English speakers. InRyan, E. B. and Giles, H. (Eds), Attitudes Towards Language Variation, pp.20–33. Edward Arnold, London.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Fasold, Ralph
    1987The sociolinguistics of society. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Fattier-Thomas, Dominique
    1984 De la variété rèk à la variété swa: Pratiques vivantes de la langue en Haïti. Conjonction161.162: 39–51.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Ferguson, Charles. A.
    1996Sociolinguistic perspectives: Papers on language in society, 1959–1994. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Gardner, Robert C. & Wallace, E.
    1972Attitudes and Motivation in Second-Language Learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Garrett, Peter
    2010Attitudes to language. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511844713
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511844713 [Google Scholar]
  22. Govain, Renauld
    2014 L’état des lieux du créole dans les établissements scolaires en Haïti. Contextes et didactiques. Revue semestrielle en sciences de l’éducation, (4). 10.4000/ced.318
    https://doi.org/10.4000/ced.318 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hadden, Robert. L. & Steven G. Minson
    2010The geology of Haiti: An annotated bibliography of Haiti’s geology, geography and earth science. Corps of Engineers Alexandria VA.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Haiti Population
    Haiti Population 2020 (n.d). Retrieved from: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/haiti-population/
  25. Hebblethwaite, Benjamin
    2012 French and underdevelopment, Haitian Creole and development: Educational language policy problems and solutions in Haiti. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 27(2), 255–302. 10.1075/jpcl.27.2.03heb
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jpcl.27.2.03heb [Google Scholar]
  26. Hittenberger, J. S.
    1987 Attitudes of Forty Haitian Primary School Teachers Toward Creole as Language of Instruction (Doctoral dissertation, University of Southern California).
  27. Huguet, Angel
    2006 Attitudes and motivation versus language achievement in cross-linguistic settings: What is cause and what effect?Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 27, 413–429. 10.2167/jmmd426.1
    https://doi.org/10.2167/jmmd426.1 [Google Scholar]
  28. Ianos, Maria A., Ester, Caballé, Cristina, Petreñas, & Ángel, Huguet
    2019 Language attitudes of young Romanians in Catalonia (Spain): The role of heritage language maintenance programs. Multilingua, 38(3), 335–355. 10.1515/multi‑2018‑0069
    https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2018-0069 [Google Scholar]
  29. Jaspaert, Koen & Sjaak, Kroon
    1988 The relationship between language attitudes and language choice. InU. Knops and R. van Hout (Eds.), Language attitudes in the Dutch language area (pp.157–171). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Foris Publications. 10.1515/9783110857856.157
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110857856.157 [Google Scholar]
  30. Jean-Charles, Hervé L.
    1987 Attitudes of Teachers and Parents Toward French and Creole in Haiti. Ph.D. Dissertation, Sanford, CA: Stanford University.
  31. Jean-François, Lesly
    2006 Attitudes des éducateurs envers le français et le créole: le cas d’Haïti. Ph. D. Dissertation, Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.
  32. Jean-Pierre, Marky
    2016 Language and learning in a post-colonial context: A critical ethnographic study in schools in Haiti. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Kormos, Judit, & Kata, Csizér
    2008 Age-related differences in the motivation of learning English as a foreign language: Attitudes, selves, and motivated learning behavior. Language learning, 58(2), 327–355. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2008.00443.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2008.00443.x [Google Scholar]
  34. Laguerre, Pierre. M.
    2010 Enseigner le Créole et le Français aux enfants Haïtiens. Enjeux et perspectives.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Lett, John. A.
    1977 Assessing Attitudinal Outcomes. The Language Connection: From the Classroom to the World. ACTFL Foreign Language Education Series, Vol.9.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Massey, D. Anthony
    1986 Variations in attitudes and motivation of adolescent learners of French as a second language. Canadian Modern Language Review, 42(3), 607–618. 10.3138/cmlr.42.3.607
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.42.3.607 [Google Scholar]
  37. Moratinos-Johnston, Sofía, LLuís, Ballester Brage, Maria, Juan-Garau, & Joana, Salazar-Noguera
    2019 Attitudes and motivation in English language learning amongst multilingual university students in the Balearic Islands: the effect of the L1 and other influential variables. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40(6), 475–490. 10.1080/01434632.2018.1531012
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2018.1531012 [Google Scholar]
  38. Ryan, Ellen B., & Howard, Giles
    1982Attitudes towards language variation: Social and applied contexts. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Salmon, William., & Jennifer Gómez, Menjívar
    2017 Setting and language attitudes in a Creole context. Applied Linguistics, 40(2), 248–264. 10.1093/applin/amx017
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx017 [Google Scholar]
  40. Sarnoff, Irving
    1970 Social attitudes and the resolution of motivational conflict. InJahoda, M. and Warren, N. (Eds), Attitudes, pp.279–284. Penguin, Harmondsworth.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Schieffelin, Bambi, and Rachelle C. Doucet
    1994 The ‘Real’Haitian Creole: Ideology, Metalinguistics, and Orthographic Choice. American Ethnologist21(1): 176–200. 10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090
    https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090 [Google Scholar]
  42. Siegel, Jeff
    2005 Literacy in pidgin and Creole languages. Current Issues in Language Planning, 6(2), 143–163. 10.1080/14664200508668278
    https://doi.org/10.1080/14664200508668278 [Google Scholar]
  43. SIL.org
  44. Smith, Lawrence L.
    (1977) Literacy: Definitions and implications. Language Arts, 54(2), 135–138.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Tezil, David
    2019 The Nasalization of the Haitian Creole Determiner La in Non-nasal Contexts: A Variationist Sociolinguistic Study. Ph.D. Dissertation, Bloomington, IN: Indiana University.
  46. UNESCO
    UNESCO. If you don’t understand, how can you learn?Global education monitoring report: policy paper 24 2016.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Valdman, Albert
    1991 The deminorization of Haitian Creole. Iberoamericana (1977–2000), 15(1 (42), 108–126.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. 2002 Creole: The National Language of Haiti. Footsteps. 2 (4): 36–39.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. 2015Haitian Creole: Structure, Variation, Status, Origin. Bristol, Connecticut: Equinox Publishing.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Valdman, Albert., & Yves Joseph
    1980Créole et enseignement primaire en Haïti. Indiana University.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Williams, Frederick
    1974 The identification of linguistic attitudes. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 3, 21–32. 10.1515/ijsl.1974.3.21
    https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl.1974.3.21 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): age; French; gender; Haitian Creole; Kreyòl; language attitudes; SES; socio-economic status
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error