Language ideology and the native speaker ideal : Canadian and Norwegian attitudes toward ESL/EFL pedagogical models
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Previous sociolinguistic studies done in Norway have explored attitudes toward native speaker and Norwegian accented varieties of English. This study adds a new angle by comparing the attitudes of first language speakers of English from Canada and second language speakers of English from Norway toward SC (Standard Canadian) and NE (Norwegian accented English) accents. An online survey was undertaken by 107 English teachers, of which 50 self-identified as Norwegian and 57 as Canadian teachers of English. Respondents evaluated 3 matched-guise audio clips consisting of one SC accent, one light NE accent and one heavy NE accent. Norwegians evaluated the SC accent more positively than Canadians in 3 out of 5 categories and both NE accents more negatively than Canadians in 9 out of 10 categories; further they were considerably more negative toward the heavy NE accent than the light NE accent. A possible explanation of this contrast stems from the inability of Canadians to recognize Norwegian accents, as 65 % of Canadians interpreted both the heavy and light NE accents as examples of native speaker English accents. The findings suggest that attitude judgements from outside parties toward NE accents may be directed by the ability to recognize the provenance of the accents. In-depth interviews of 3 Norwegian and 3 Canadian English teachers strengthened the findings by revealing feelings of "correctness" toward native speaker accents in the Norwegian group and a more ambivalent, communication based attitude in the Canadian group. Norwegian respondents felt that acquiring native-like accents led to confident language teachers and students. Implications of this study contribute to an understanding of ESL teaching in Canada and ELF/EFL teaching in Norway.