Event Title

Dialectic Perception in Education: An Analytical Exploration of the Spanish-Speaker’s English Dialect

Presenter Information

Caroline Cooley, USC Upstate

Location

Breakout Session B: Service Learning & Community Engagement

CASB 103

Start Date

8-4-2022 3:30 PM

End Date

8-4-2022 3:45 PM

Description

“Dialectic Perception in Education: An Analytical Exploration of the Spanish-Speaker’s English Dialect” Dialect has a strong and continuous effect on others’ perceptions of a speaker. While much research has been conducted on differential speech patterns and linguistic variants between the dialects of Spanish speakers, particularly in their first language (L1), significantly fewer studies have been conducted on the larger implications of those dialects (Díaz-Campos, 2009). While the field of perceptual dialectology is not lacking in research, we have found that the effects of the dialect used in a speaker’s second language (L2), particularly in native Spanish-speakers, remains largely untouched with few exceptions (Lamberts, 1960; Smitley, 2007). With the rapidly growing concentration of Spanish-speaking students in our region, awareness of pre and in-service teachers’ perception of the speech of these students deserves attention. This study was modeled after W.E. Lamberts’ 1960 research on Evaluational Reactions to Spoken Languages, with considerations made for societal shifts since its conception (i.e. omitting outdated forms) and a logistical awareness (i.e. reducing time commitment, allowing for virtual participation). Lamberts’ project “was introduced as an experimental investigation of the extent to which peoples' judgments about a speaker are determined by his voice and [speakers] were reminded of the common phenomenon of having a voice on the radio or telephone summon up a picture in the listener's mind of the person speaking” (1960). As Lamberts quantitatively differentiated listeners’ perceptions of French and English dialects through the use of preference surveys, we sought to identify similar trends by analyzing Spanish speakers’ English dialects. Educators’ perceptual responses to five samples of English L2 speakers and one sample of an English L1 speaker were collected and 30 responses are examined. We hypothesized that in conformity with this and similar studies, respondents would rate those with non-standard dialects lower on positive attribute scales since many native English speakers mistakenly equate a neutral dialect with intelligence (Wolfram, et al.). Since previous research largely focuses on certain linguistic phenomena rather than larger dialect bias, we aim to highlight more practical implications of dialect usage in the native Spanish speaker (Díaz-Campos, 2009). Our early results suggest less variation than expected.

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Apr 8th, 3:30 PM Apr 8th, 3:45 PM

Dialectic Perception in Education: An Analytical Exploration of the Spanish-Speaker’s English Dialect

Breakout Session B: Service Learning & Community Engagement

CASB 103

“Dialectic Perception in Education: An Analytical Exploration of the Spanish-Speaker’s English Dialect” Dialect has a strong and continuous effect on others’ perceptions of a speaker. While much research has been conducted on differential speech patterns and linguistic variants between the dialects of Spanish speakers, particularly in their first language (L1), significantly fewer studies have been conducted on the larger implications of those dialects (Díaz-Campos, 2009). While the field of perceptual dialectology is not lacking in research, we have found that the effects of the dialect used in a speaker’s second language (L2), particularly in native Spanish-speakers, remains largely untouched with few exceptions (Lamberts, 1960; Smitley, 2007). With the rapidly growing concentration of Spanish-speaking students in our region, awareness of pre and in-service teachers’ perception of the speech of these students deserves attention. This study was modeled after W.E. Lamberts’ 1960 research on Evaluational Reactions to Spoken Languages, with considerations made for societal shifts since its conception (i.e. omitting outdated forms) and a logistical awareness (i.e. reducing time commitment, allowing for virtual participation). Lamberts’ project “was introduced as an experimental investigation of the extent to which peoples' judgments about a speaker are determined by his voice and [speakers] were reminded of the common phenomenon of having a voice on the radio or telephone summon up a picture in the listener's mind of the person speaking” (1960). As Lamberts quantitatively differentiated listeners’ perceptions of French and English dialects through the use of preference surveys, we sought to identify similar trends by analyzing Spanish speakers’ English dialects. Educators’ perceptual responses to five samples of English L2 speakers and one sample of an English L1 speaker were collected and 30 responses are examined. We hypothesized that in conformity with this and similar studies, respondents would rate those with non-standard dialects lower on positive attribute scales since many native English speakers mistakenly equate a neutral dialect with intelligence (Wolfram, et al.). Since previous research largely focuses on certain linguistic phenomena rather than larger dialect bias, we aim to highlight more practical implications of dialect usage in the native Spanish speaker (Díaz-Campos, 2009). Our early results suggest less variation than expected.