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Title: Language ideologies in the secondary school : attitude and identity in bilingual Wales
Author: Lee, Rachelle
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 6961
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation is a sociolinguistic study of the relationship between language ideologies and adolescents’ attitudes toward the Welsh language in secondary schools in Wales. The research, which took place in one Welsh-medium and one English-medium school in Cardiff, examined institutionalized language ideologies, adolescents’ language attitudes and motivations, and the role of educational language policy in fostering positive attitudes toward (and associations with) Welsh. Five complementary methods were employed: a language attitude and use questionnaire; a matched-guise test (Lambert et al., 1972); an Implicit Association Test (Greenwald et al., 1998); interviews with teachers, a headteacher, and members of Welsh-medium community institutions; and focus groups with pupils. Questionnaire and Implicit Association Test data indicate that pupils who attend the Welsh-medium school have significantly more positive attitudes toward Welsh than those who attend the English-medium school, even when controlling for first language, parental language, and home language factors. This suggests the type of educational institution attended plays a role not only in developing language proficiency, but in fostering attitudes as well. The data indicate that institutionalized language ideologies are both reflected in and contested by pupils at both schools. While attitudes toward Welsh are generally more positive at the Welsh-medium school than at the English-medium school, even amongst non-first-language Welsh speakers, there are indications of linguistic insecurity, precluding young people from speaking the language outside the classroom. Empirical data demonstrated low levels of both confidence and engagement with Welsh at the English-medium school. Levels of affiliation with Welshness were also significantly higher at the Welsh-medium school, indicating that many non-Welsh-speaking adolescents in Cardiff are adopting alternative national and ethnic identities. Recommendations for educational language policy reform are offered, with an emphasis on aligning policy measures with the particular motivations of young people.
Supervisor: Llamas, Carmen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available