Kurdish University Students’ and Teachers’ Attitudes Towards English Accents: American English and British English
Sarkawt Muhammad Qadir1, Sazan Haji Bayz2, Sayran Husen3
1,2,3English Language Department, College of Education, University of Raparin, Ranya, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq
Email: [email protected]
Published: February 22, 2023
English, similar to any other language, possesses different varieties in all the circles mentioned by Kachru. However, two of them, American English and British English are considered the major ones. As observed, there exists a strong preference for American English on the students’ part and a strong preference for British English on the lecturers’ part, although this proposition has not been confirmed by prior research. Therefore, the present study was an attempt to understand and explore Kurdish university students’ and teachers’ awareness, preference, and attitudes towards the two major varieties of English that are situated within the Inner Circle of Kachru’s model through a self-reported questionnaire adapted from previous studies. More importantly, the study tackled the factors that influenced their attitudes toward either of the aforementioned accents through a second self-reported questionnaire inquiring about the reasons why they preferred one accent over the other. The sample included 102 Kurdish university students and 49 university teachers from the different universities of Iraqi Kurdistan. The data analysis confirmed the assumption that the majority of Kurdish university students were positive about American English. They particularly described it as clearer, more standard, and more prestigious. Nonetheless, the majority of Kurdish university lecturers were positive about British English, considering it superior, more pleasant, and more international. As for the reasons, although their responses were various, the study listed the order of the factors that influenced their choice of accent. Thus, the study concluded that students’ attitudes and teachers’ attitudes towards English accents contradict that might affect the teaching/learning process.
Keywords: Attitude, university students and teachers, American English, British English.