Universitas Advent Indonesia, Bandung-Indonesia

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Cross Cultural Attitude Towards Varieties of English & Preference for English Models

Lembaga Penelitian & Pengabdian Masyarakat (Research Center & Community Service) 
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                  This study described the cross-cultural attitudes of the participants toward Varieties of English (VE) and preference for English models, in terms of nationality, age, and gender. It is also tried to find the relationship of these variables and the attitude of the participants towards VE; the differences of attitudes of the participants towards VE; and the indicators of these attitudes.

                  The main instrument used to generate the attitude across culture toward VE was the Matched Guise Technique. The technique employs the use of tape-recorded voice of male and female speakers representing Kachru’s concentric circles namely: the native speakers of English (inner circle), second language English speakers (outer circle) and foreign language speakers of English (Expanding circle). These varieties of English used were: American English Variety (AEV), British English Variety (BEV), Indian English Variety (IEV), Philippines English Variety (PEV), Chinese English Variety (CEV), and Indonesian English Variety (INAEV). Questionnaire on semantic differential and a focus group discussion (FGD) were conducted to obtain data on the preferences and indicators of attitude towards VE.

The participants are university students made up of 118 Indonesians (foreign language speaker), 119 Filipinos (second language speaker), and 20 Americans (native speakers). They were selected thru purposive sampling process based on the following criteria: nationality, gender, age and they served as the independent variables while attitude and preference served as the dependent variables.

                  The findings of the study showed that across nationalities the participants have positive attitude towards VE. In terms of gender, Indonesians have positive attitude toward female speakers of AEV, while the Filipinos and Americans favored the male speakers of AEV. The Indonesians and Filipinos (age group 17-60 years) have more positive attitude to male and female speakers of AEV.

                  With regards to the preferences it was revealed that across nationalities and gender, the participants’ preference is AEV. Indonesians (age group16-22) preferred BEV and like to speak BEV, while age group 23-50 preferred AEV and like to speak AEV. However, the Filipinos at all age levels, preferred AEV but like to speak the PEV.

                  The study further revealed that there is a significant relationship between participant attitude, and age towards VE.

In addition, there is a significant difference in the attitude of the nationality towards VE as shown by the following: (1) that the Indonesians rated their own varieties higher than the Filipinos rated theirs and vice versa. (2). The Americans rated the female INAEV lowest among the other VE but the Indonesians did not.

                  Finally the indicators of positive attitude towards the VE as revealed by the FGD is illustrated in some selected attributes such as: fluent and clear (AEV), sophisticated and eloquent (BEV), clearly and pleasant (PEV), authoritative (IEV), assertive (CEV), and clear and comprehensible (INAEV).

                  Based on the results of the study there is a need to develop tolerance for VE considering the infusion of the first language culture into the manner in which English is spoken. The study sees the need for students to become “bidialectal” so they can use their English variety for local or intra-communication, the AEV or BEV for international communications or intercommunication and use their local VE even in international communications as long as these are intelligible.

Keywords: Cross-cultural, attitude, English models