Title: L1 varieties in Flemish secondary education: teachers' attitudes toward standard and substandard colloquial Belgian Dutch
Authors: Tummers, José
Deveneyns, Annelies
Speelman, Dirk
Issue Date: 3-Jun-2015
Host Document: Languages, Literatures & Literacy. 10th IAIMTE Conference 2015 pages:257-257
Conference: International Association for the Improvement of Mother Tongue Education edition:10 location:Odense date:3-5 June 2015
Abstract: Flemish society exhibits a dynamic sociolinguistic variation between two varieties of colloquial Belgian Dutch: an exogenous formal variety derived from Netherlandic Dutch and an endogenous informal variety resulting from an ongoing (sub)standardization process based on Flemish regiolects and dialects (Geeraerts 2011). There is an ongoing discussion on the societal role of both varieties as well as their respective positions in education (Delarue 2011), given the prominent role of school (staff) in the (socio)linguistic formation of youngsters.
In this contribution, we will analyze the status of both varieties of colloquial Belgian Dutch in Flemish secondary education. The results can support a (more) realistic L1 policy in education which corresponds to teachers’ attitudes.
The following research questions will be addressed:
• Where do teachers situate both language varieties on a stylistic cline (formal/informal)?
• What are teachers’ attitudes toward both language varieties?
• With what (in)formal school contexts do teachers associate both language varieties?
A field experiment was set up (random sample: 42 schools, 322 teachers). Respondents – secondary education language and other teachers – were presented 4 authentic stimuli (Grondelaers et al. 2009), 2 featuring the standard variety and 2 featuring the substandard variety (male speakers, approximately 20 seconds duration). Using the indirect technique of speaker evaluation (Lambert et al. 1960), the respondents were asked to rate the speakers on various socio-psychological scales (prestige/competence, dynamism, social status, personal integrity), their ability to act in (in)formal school situations as well as in very formal situations traditionally reserved to the standard variety.
In an exploratory factor analysis (varimax rotation), a 3 factor solution emerged:
• F1: respondent’s norm sensitivity (0.42 variance explained; EV = 8.32)
• F2: combination of social status and personal integrity (0.18 variance explained; EV = 3.69)
• F3: combination of status/competence and dynamism (0.05 variance explained; EV = 1.27)
Gaussian GLMs revealed that the scores on all factors are conditioned by the teacher’s age and education level. In addition, the F2 scores are constrained by the respondent being a vocational teacher or a L1 Dutch teacher. The teachers’ region as well as the (formality) of the language variety they use in class constrain the F3 scores.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Department of Business and Management Studies - UC Leuven
Quantitative Lexicology and Variational Linguistics (QLVL), Leuven
Department of Teacher Training - UC Leuven

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