The acquisition of sociolinguistic evaluations among Polish-born adolescents learning English: Evidence from perception
In order to achieve full native-like competence in a second language, speakers must also acquire sociolinguistic awareness in that language. This article reports the results of a study investigating the acquisition of sociolinguistic awareness among immigrant Polish adolescents learning English in the UK. This paper asks whether Polish-born adolescents living in the UK can identify different varieties of British English as well as their native-speaker peer group can, and whether they share similar evaluations of these varieties of English as their native-speaker peer group. The results of a variety recognition survey suggest that Polish-born adolescents now living in the UK are not yet able to identify different varieties of English. However, the vast majority of evaluations carried out by Polish-born adolescents and UK-born adolescents were not statistically different. Furthermore, we see clear evidence of the acquisition of the muted evaluations typically associated with the two varieties of English that are most positively and negatively evaluated among the UK-born adolescents: RP and Birmingham English. We suggest that our study provides a snap-shot of the initial stages of the acquisition of attitudes towards variation in a second language.
- Arts: Journal Articles