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An exploration of teachers' and pupils' attitudes and beliefs about the role of an English-based creole in secondary English language classrooms: the case of the British Virgin Islands

Creque, E; (2016) An exploration of teachers' and pupils' attitudes and beliefs about the role of an English-based creole in secondary English language classrooms: the case of the British Virgin Islands. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This thesis investigates teachers' and pupils' attitudes and beliefs about the role of an English-based creole in relation to standard English in BVI secondary English Language classrooms. Set against a backdrop of a post-colonial context, it employs a qualitative case study approach of two English Language classrooms. The primary source of data consisted of audio-recorded interviews, which were conducted with pupils and teachers, in order to derive an understanding of their perceptions and attitudes. Classroom observations also served as a supplementary source of data and as a backdrop to the interview data. Drawing on concepts from critical pedagogy and sociolinguistics, the study reveals that language instruction in the English Language classroom is dominated by a 'standard language ideology', that is, a view of language that sanctions standard English at the expense of non-standard varieties like BVI Creole, which is consequently marginalized in the education system. Findings derived from the data suggest that teachers are constructed or 'interpellated' in discourses, inscribed in language classroom teaching practices, which implicitly devalue BVI Creole in relation to the hegemonic status of standard English. Furthermore, pupils may be internalizing and unconsciously propagating the 'common sense' assumptions that teachers make about BVI Creole and, as a result, both teachers and pupils may be 'complicit' in the 'misrecognitions' of standard English as the 'legitimate' variety. The study proposes the inclusion of a critical language awareness component in BVI English Language classrooms to raise pupils' and teachers' awareness of the dominant ideologies underpinning language teaching. This may enable teachers to create spaces for a new kind of pedagogy in their classrooms in which they can assist pupils in questioning and challenging the hegemonic assumptions about language use, which are currently perpetuated in English classrooms. Finally, the thesis argues in favour of providing opportunities that may enhance pupils' meta-language awareness, thereby enabling them to talk and reflect upon their language choices.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: An exploration of teachers' and pupils' attitudes and beliefs about the role of an English-based creole in secondary English language classrooms: the case of the British Virgin Islands
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1529848
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