Carrie Thomas wins ALSLA dissertation award

Monday, November 12, 2012

Category: News

Congratulations to Carrie Thomas who has been awarded the MSc ALSLA best dissertation prize for 2011/2012 for her dissertation entitled “Living in L1, learning in L2: Language ideologies and practices of English immersion students”.

Here is an abstract of Carrie’s dissertation.

Operating under the framework of language policy, this study investigates the language practices and ideologies of English immersion (EI) students from three European countries (Austria, Kosovo, and Slovakia). Questionnaire data from 164 EI students were analysed using principal components analysis. The resulting components of L1 and English–L2 language practices and ideologies were compared between three groups of EI students based on L1 context—Group 1: German–L1 (Austria); Group 2: Albanian–L1 (Kosovo); Group 3: Slovak–L1 (Slovakia). It was concluded that EI students of all three L1 contexts use mostly English in non-interactive language situations, both English and their L1 equally with peers and with technology, and almost entirely their L1 with family. It was also concluded that EI students share a highly positive ideology of English, though L1 ideology varied among groups. The qualitative analysis of a short answer question also included in the questionnaire provided further insight into the instrumental and integrative language ideologies of EI students. Additionally, the language practices and ideologies of the Slovak–L1 EI students were compared with those of non-EI students from a traditional Slovak programme. It was concluded that the EI students use English more than their non-EI peers in all examined areas, but that both groups share similar Slovak and English language ideologies. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to educational language policy, and recommendations are made for further research into the language practices and ideologies of EI students.