Unequal English accents, covert accentism and EAL migrants in Australia
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Accentism refers to the ways that "unequal English accents"become re-allocated in particular English-speaking dominant contexts, creating different presumptions, ideologies and attitudes towards the English accent and pronunciation of English speakers. Using data derived from two larger ethnographic studies, this article aims to explore the ways that English as an Additional Language (EAL) migrants experience covert accentism - the social exclusion caused covertly when the dominant members of society misunderstand the accents of EAL users. Our study shows that EAL users express their worry of being stereotyped for their English accents, which interferes with their social and daily life. In particular, the participants noted forms of social exclusion such as a lack of interest in them or their experiences, and deficit perspectives surrounding their overall English practices including their accents. We conclude that such instances of covert accentism can lead to more serious implications, such as having difficulty fostering relationships with members of the dominant society, accent bullying, and psychological damage.
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Dryden, S.; Dovchin, Sender (2021)Using Linguistic Ethnography (LE), we analyse the ways in which English as an additional language (LX) users from migrant backgrounds in Australia encounter overt and covert ‘accentism’ from the dominant English-speaking ...
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