Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0213-2028
  • E-ISSN: 2254-6774
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The current study explores the second language(L2) acquisition of subconsciously held language attitudes. Specifically, we determine whether L2 learners perceive differences between Spanish speakers of four geographic varieties and evaluate them differently, and if these perceptions change with proficiency. Following sociolinguistic methodological practices, we administered a verbal guise task to American English-speaking learners of Spanish from four university enrollment levels. We found that the learners differentially evaluated speakers of these regional varieties across dimensions of solidarity (kindness) and standardness (prestige). We observed development across levels in the evaluation of regional varieties for prestige, while differentiations in kindness ratings remained consistent across levels. We also show that, for our highest-level group, study abroad experience may contribute to patterns of subconscious evaluation. Although one would not expect L2 classroom learners to possess native-like subconscious attitudes, the present study is an essential step in understanding how such attitudes develop in L2 acquisition.


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