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Title: Attitudes to LX speech : performance and status evaluations in group work
Author: McCloskey, James B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 2248
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Against a backdrop of increasing internationalisation in higher education, this study employed a matched guise technique to investigate L1 speakers’ evaluations of an LX speaker*. Seventy five UK students were asked to rate an idea put forward by an L1 speaker and predict the status this individual would enjoy in future group work in terms of receiving opportunities to contribute, receiving positive evaluations, and exerting influence. A separate group of 150 UK students heard the identical idea delivered by a LX speaker, rated at a level of language proficiency of approximately IELTS 6.5, and made the same evaluations. Results indicated that the majority of students in the second group reported some comprehension difficulties and rated the LX user as being less than able to meet the linguistic demands of group work in university. For these L1 raters, the LX speaker was expected to suffer a significant status loss compared to the equivalent L1 speaker. In terms of L1 rater differences, findings also revealed that students with high levels of on intercultural competence, specifically high motivational cultural intelligence (MCQ), were better able to process LX speech compared to those with low MCQ, with an effect size of R=.42. High MCQ was also linked to more positive evaluations of the LX speaker’s ideas, intellectual and academic ability, and language proficiency. Results suggest the extent to which some LX speakers may suffer an expectations ‘disadvantage’ in group work relative to L1 speakers, and the role that MCQ plays in the processing and evaluation of LX speech. * This dissertation will adapt an ‘L1’ versus ‘LX’ dichotomy to avoid the strong monolingual bias associated with traditional ‘native speaker’ versus ‘non-native speaker’ or ‘L1 speaker’ versus ‘L2 speaker’ alternatives. Dewaele defines LX as any foreign language acquired after the age at which the first language(s) were acquired, or approximately the age of 3 (Dewaele, no date:1). The label ‘LX’ is not, therefore, indicative of a particular level of language proficiency.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available