Exploring language attitudes of fourth-grade learners toward accented voices





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This study explores the attitudes of fourth-grade mainstream learners toward recorded voices with Hispanic, Hmong, and Standard American English accents. Students listened to a male and female voice for each of the three accents, and evaluated the voices on status (e.g., hardworking or lazy) and solidarity traits (e.g., nice or mean). Hypothesis one predicted that the Standard American English accent would rate highest for status traits. Hypothesis two predicted that the Hispanic and Hmong accents would rate higher for solidarity traits. The results supported hypothesis one, but did not support hypothesis two. The Standard American English accent rated highest in both status and solidarity traits. Students also filled out a sociogram to determine social status within each of the mainstream classrooms. Using the categorical terms popular, neutral, and rejected, it was determined that students with accents fit into all three categories, but a majority of the students were considered rejected.

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