This ground-breaking work is a detailed account of an innovative and
in-depth study of the attitudes of in excess of 500 Japanese learners
towards a number of standard and non-standard as well as native and
non-native varieties of English speech. The research conducted refines the
investigation of learner attitudes by employing a range of pioneering
techniques of attitude measurement. These methods are largely incorporated
from the strong traditions that exist in the fields of social psychology
and second language acquisition and utilize both direct and indirect
techniques of attitude measurement. The author locates the findings in the
context of the wealth of literature on native speaker evaluations of
languages and language varieties.
The study is unique in that the results provide clear evidence of both
attitude change and high levels of linguistic awareness among the
informants of social and geographical diversity within the English
language. These findings are analyzed in detail in relation to the global
spread of English as well as in terms of the pedagogical implications for
the choice of linguistic model employed in English language classrooms both
inside and outside Japan.
The issues examined are of particular interest to educators, researchers
and students in the fields of applied linguistics, TESOL, second language
acquisition, social psychology of language and sociolinguistics. The
pedagogical and language policy implications of the findings obtained make
essential reading for those with a specific focus on the role of the
English language and English language teaching, both in Japan and beyond.