Projecting Identities Through L2: Pronunciation and Attitudes Towards Varieties of English Among Thai Learners of English in a Public Speaking Classroom Context

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Preena Kangkun

Abstract

This paper explores the pronunciation and attitudes of fifteen Thai learners of English towards American English, British English, and Thai-accented English in a public speaking classroom context by using auditory evaluations of students’ actual production, a questionnaire, and group discussions. The study found that the majority of students (73.33%) aimed for American English, while a smaller number (26.67%) aimed for British English. Results from an auditory impression show that 46.67% of the participants were successful at producing the particular variety they were aiming for. Group discussions gave further insights about the complex and contesting attitudes Thai learners have regarding different English varieties. On the whole, Thai learners of English are positive towards Thai-accented English but also questioned its comprehensibility and wondered what kind of identity they may be projecting in the eyes of foreigners when using this variety.

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