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Type: Theses
Title: Researching the mindsets of monolinguals: a ‘linguistic self’ of twenty-first century monolingual art students in Australia
Author: Hordacre Kobayashi, Lyndal
Issue Date: 2017
School/Discipline: School of Humanities
Abstract: This thesis empirically investigates attitudes towards language and language learning of a small group of monolingual art students in Adelaide, Australia. It explores the term “monolingual mindset” (Clyne 2005, 2007, 2008), questioning the dual representation of both an individual’s monolingual attitude towards language as well as the socio-political concept of monolingualism (Jostes 2010) inherent in this phrase, arguing the benefits of rigorous empirical research into actual individual mindsets of monolinguals. To understand the language attitudes of individual monolinguals, the concept of ‘language’ is discussed as a taken-for-granted concept and frameworks within sociology, psychology, motivation theory and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) are utilized to develop methods in which to both interview and analyze authentic attitudes of self-identifying monolinguals towards language. Chapter 1 introduces the research, reviewing the way monolingualism is commonly portrayed in the literature. I argue that monolingual research within the context of multilingualism or as a socio-cultural problem avoids understanding monolingualism as a field in its own right and additionally is unintentionally misrepresenting monolingual individuals. In chapter 2, I adapt a theoretical framework using Second Language (L2) motivational research and psychological concepts of ‘self’ to analyze attitudes towards language, reflecting on the inevitability of personality traits and individual differences in the way attitudes may be expressed and conceived. I review indirect, collaborative, qualitative research methodologies, where innovative, active and visual approaches are used to collect and analyze data when identifying taken-for-granted knowledge. I explain the procedure, the use of semi-structured interviews and the thematic analytic approach I use to develop a linguistic self of the monolingual participants. In chapter 3, I analyze the eight mindsets presented in this research. I look at the attitudes of resistance, non-resistance, and a non-committal eagerness to learn an L2. I question personality types and past experiences of language and education, whilst interpreting the reactions and responses drawn from the research participants during the interview. Chapter 4 describes the benefits of this research. It discusses the way deflective responses ‘mark’ the interviews of three of the participants, suggesting possible socio-cultural expectations that produce feelings that one should know about language. A monolingual sense of language is reviewed, discussing both a ‘socially-integrative’ understanding, as well as a ‘standardized-authoritative’ response to language, whilst noting that the participants’ replies relate to their experiences or ‘what they know’ about language. The findings suggest that the monolingual participants in this research perceive language as a relatively simple, taken for granted concept without linking it to a sense of identity, cultural affiliation or belonging. Additionally, although the participants feel they would benefit by learning an L2, attitudes accepting diversity appear not to be dependent upon knowledge of a second language. In fact the participants in this research appear socially aware and supportive of multilingual speakers and multilingualism.
Advisor: Green, Ian
Amery, Robert Maxwell
Dissertation Note: Thesis (M.Phil.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2017.
Keywords: linguistic self
monolingual mindset
monolingualism
visual interpretive methods
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/legals
DOI: 10.4225/55/5abb001f67b16
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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