Prescriptive language attitudes in a dual language elementary school

Mary Hudgens Henderson


Language misconceptions are still very prevalent among the public, partially due to lack of linguistic education in schools. Language misconceptions can influence language attitudes, including the language attitudes of language-minority children towards their native language. In this study, 5th graders enrolled in a dual language program participated in an 18-lesson language awareness curriculum and completed Likert-type pre/posttest surveys and pretest/posttest interviews. Students' prescriptive language attitude results are compared to those of an English-instruction control group that did not receive language awareness lessons. Both bilingual and monolingual students believed formal, school-based language to be superior to informal language. Despite having received language awareness instruction, students in the treatment group continued to hold prescriptivist language attitudes. Implications for future language awareness curricula are discussed.


language awareness; language attitudes; bilingual education; prescriptivism

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Copyright (c) 2016 Mary Hudgens Henderson

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