Accent Priority in a Thai University Context: A Common Sense Revisited

Naratip Jindapitak, Adisa Teo


In Thailand, there has been much debate regarding what accents should be prioritized and adopted as models for learning and use in the context of English language education. However, it is not a debate in which the voices of English learners have sufficiently been heard. Several world Englishes scholars have maintained that being a denationalized language, English should be viewed through the lens of linguistic hybridization. In this paper, we investigated Thai university English learners’ preferences for varieties of English and their attitudes towards the importance of understanding varieties of English in order to generate a better understanding as to what extent native and non-native varieties gain acceptance as English models. We also explored whether learners’ attitudes were consistent with the ideology of English as an international language which sees English in its pluralistic sense. The findings of this study suggest that even though the majority of learners preferred native-speaker accents as models for learning and use, they consiered non-native Englishes worth understanding and learning. The findings challenge the old paradigm of English language teaching that is based on the concept of linguistic Americanization or Britishization, prioritizing the native-speaker school of thought. In closing, we proposed some pedagogical suggestions that, we believe, are consistent with how English functions in the world as an international lingua franca.

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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