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The perception of French by native speakers and advanced L2, L3 and L4 learners

Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2010) The perception of French by native speakers and advanced L2, L3 and L4 learners. In: Regan, V. and Ni Chasaide, C. (eds.) Language practices and identity construction by advanced L2 and L3 speakers. Modern French Identities 80. Bern, Switzerland: Peter Lang, pp. 121-144. ISBN 9783039115693.

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The present study is the first systematic large-scale comparison (N = 684) of perceptions that NS and NNS have of French. NS of French were found to perceive that language quite differently from NNS of French. Fewer differences emerged between NS and NNS in their perception of the characteristics of Francophones. Participants’ perception of French was linked to their perception of Francophones, especially among NNS. Interestingly, NS judged their language to be generally more difficult than NNS. However, when looking at specific areas of difficulty, NS judged only spelling to be more difficult than NNS. While the effect of variables such as sex and age was found to be negligible, the effect of multilingualism proved to be quite strong. Participants knowing more languages (both NS and NNS of French) perceived French and certain areas of difficulty in French quite differently from participants knowing fewer languages. This suggests that multilingualism does not only affect how individuals use and acquire their languages but also how they feel about them.

Item Type: Book Section
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Superiority of the French language, Attitudes and perceptions, foreign language learners, quantitative sociopsychological approach, characteristics of the French language, characteristics of Francophones, areas of difficulty in French, multilingualism and perception of French,
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Jean Marc Dewaele
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2010 10:09
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2013 15:49

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