Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Discourse ‘like’ and social identity – a case study of Poles in Ireland
    (John Benjamins Publishing, 2012-11-15) ; ;
    Ireland experienced momentous change in the last decade and a half. Migrants now make up a significant percentage of the population and the question of integration continues to be pertinent. One indicator of integration is language, and the fluency with which an L2 speaker uses L1 discourse markers indicates how integrated he/she is in the local community (Sankoff et al. 1997). This paper analyses discourse like and its use by Polish speakers of L2 Irish English. Our research shows that speakers follow Irish English patterns, but there is a high degree of interspeaker variation. By drawing on qualitative data, we attempt to illustrate some possible reasons for this, including the potential of this feature as a tool in identity construction.
  • Publication
    The New Kid on the Block: A Case Study of Young Poles, Language and Identity
    (SensePublishers, 2011-10-22) ;
    Ireland has experienced momentous change over the last 15 years, with a sharp reversal in its traditionally outward-migration patterns to a very rapid increase in inward-migration. Mac Éinrí and White have characterised Ireland’s experiences of migration as ‘unique, at least in European terms’ (2008: 153). This came to the fore towards the mid 1990s onwards when increased economic prosperity led to a skills shortage on the labour market and the concomitant inward migration led to rapid population diversification. This was particularly noticeable after the accession of ten new EU Member States, including Poland, on May 1st 2004.
  • Publication
    Sociolinguistics and Language Learning in a Study Abroad Context
    (Dickinson College, 1998)
    This article will focus on the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence by second language learners during a period of study abroad. Various aspects of sociolinguistic competence will be discussed and some of the principal factors which affect it will be described. Factors which affect sociolinguistic competence emerging from research in the area of study abroad include some which are central to the acquisition of second languages in general: context of acquisition, level of proficiency, degree of contact with native speakers, role of input, individual differences and the issue of native speaker norms. The research described will outline what we know about the sociolinguistic and sociocultural aspects of study abroad. The literature which exists to date on this aspect of second language acquisition (SLA) will be reviewed, including both quantitative and qualitative studies. Finally, we will address the question of the benefits (if any) of studying abroad for the acquisition of sociolinguistic and sociocultural competence. Where possible, an attempt will be made to see how this experience compares with that of learners who have not been abroad. Some of the studies to be discussed in this article were carried out with the explicit intention of focusing on the sociolinguistic area (Marriott 1995; Regan 1995; and Siegal 1995). There are also other year abroad studies which, although not focusing specifically on the sociolinguistic aspects of the process, nevertheless reveal further information about what happens during a study abroad period, for example, Lafford (1995) and Lapkin, Hart and Swain (1995). Various aspects of the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence are addressed in these articles.
  • Publication
    The Acquisition of Sociolinguistic Native Speech Norms: Effects of a Year Abroad on Second Language Learners of French
    (John Benjamins Publishing, 1995-10-12)
    One of the perennial debates in language teaching is the one about the benefits, or otherwise, of time spent abroad -- learning the language while immersed in the target speech community. After all, as Gardner (1979) says, in acquiring a second language "the student is faced with the task of not simply learning new information (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, etc) .. but rather of acquiring symbolic elements of a different ethnolinguistic community". To what extent is this process facilitated by living in the target language community? This article reports a study which provides concrete empirical data on the effects of such experiences on the language learning process. This sociolinguistic study of second language acquisition tries to investigate just what is the process of the acquisition of symbolic elements of another ethnolinguistic community. It is a study of the acquisition of sociolinguistic competence and focuses on the acquisition of a particularly sensitive sociolinguistic variable which is invested with powerful symbolic significance by the native speech community.
  • Publication
    (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
    Language is inherently variable; this applies whether we are talking about a speaker’s first, second or third language. Yet linguistics in the twentieth century tended to focus on the invariant and variation was considered to be a marginal issue. However, focus has increasingly been shifting to variation in linguistic studies. For instance, in a 2010 article in New Scientist, Kenneally says that Evans and Levinson (2009) “believe that languages do not share a common set of rules . . . their sheer variety is a defining feature of human communications . . . Language diversity is the ‘crucial fact for understanding the place of language in human cognition.’” Whether or not one agrees that all languages share a set of rules (Editors’ note, e.g. Universal Grammar; see Chapters 1, 2, this volume), it is increasingly accepted that variation is an important aspect of language.
  • Publication
    L1 and L2 Language Attitudes: Polish and Italian Migrants in France and Ireland
    (MDPI, 2023-01-04)
    Until recently, research on language attitudes focused mainly on attitudes relating to speakers' L1. However, with the increase in interest in multilingualism in a globalised world, there has been a renewed interest in language attitudes relating to L2 speakers. This article focuses on these issues in the context of migration: how language attitudes associated with migrants' L1 and L2 may affect the L2 acquisition process. The attitudes of two L2 groups (Polish and Italian) are compared to see if, in the case of speakers learning different L2's (French and Irish English), there was a difference based on the different contexts. Qualitative data and analysis were used to attend to the voices of the participants in the study. Analysis revealed differences in language attitudes amongst Polish migrants in France, Polish migrants in Ireland, and Italian migrants in Ireland that paralleled differences in L2 strategies. This supports recent research which indicates that attitudes associated with L2s play a more important role than was previously realised and should be considered alongside L1 language attitudes.
  • Publication
    The significance of age and place of residence in the positional distribution of discourse like in L2 speech
    (John Benjamins Publishing, 2015-07-15) ;
    This chapter investigates the use of discourse markers in L2 Irish English, specifically like by Polish people, assuming that the use of discourse markers is an indicator of integration. Quantitative and qualitative approaches are used to analyse the corpus of speech, focusing in particular on the positional distribution of like and the impact of age and place of residence. Results show that the L2 speakers use discourse like in patterns which correspond to those attested for L1 Irish English. Place of residence was a significant factor, with rural and urban speakers following rural and urban L1 patterns respectively. However, the younger speakers tended to favour urban (and global) clause-medial like over clause-marginal like, the more traditional pattern for Irish English. The young L2 speakers appear to be participating in the global change in like patterns.
  • Publication
    Tales from the Celtic Tiger: migrants' language use and identity
    (Four Courts Press, 2016-05-01)
    This chapter describes an aspect of Ireland and Irishness in the twenty-first century. It tells the story of a country undergoing major changes and a concomitant identity in flux. Ireland has had, in a relatively short space of time, an economic boom and a subsequent crash. This economic cataclysm, with its major shifts in population caused by immigration and emigration, has brought with it changes in how Irish people see themselves and indeed what constitutes ‘Irishness’. The study presented here tells this story through the lens of language: language use, language practices and language attitudes. an important ‘barometer’ of identity is language; here, language tells a story of identity in flux where ‘Irishness’ is redefined. Similarly to the picture painted by Lamarre (this volume) of a changing Quebec identity, Ireland’s rapidly changing identity may be captured here through language use in Ireland today; specifically the language of the ‘new Irish’.
  • Publication
    Une ou des immersions ? Regard sur l’acquisition de la compétence sociolinguistique par des apprenants anglophones irlandais de FLE
    (Narr Francke Attempto Verlag, 2021-08-09) ; ; ;
    Dans ce qui suit, nous commencerons par définir la notion de compétence sociolinguistique en langue étrangère avant d'examiner les enjeux qu'elle pose en termes pédagogiques (section 2). Nous proposerons ensuite un bref historique des travaux portant sur l'acquisition de cette compétence, notamment des facteurs qui influencent son appropriation par les apprenants (section 3). Après avoir présenté notre étude expérimentale (section 4), les résultats seront discutés (section 5) à la lumière des propos tenus par les apprenants dans ces mêmes conversations, propos qui fournissent un certain nombre de pistes explicatives quant à l'emploi des variantes, mais également quant aux représentations que les participants ont de leur usage. Nous conclurons (section 6) en proposant quelques pistes pédagogiques.