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The perception of French by native speakers and advanced L2, L3 and L4 learners

By Jean-Marc Dewaele


The present study is the first systematic large-scale comparison (N = 684) of perceptions that NS and NNS have of French. NS of French were found to perceive that language quite differently from NNS of French. Fewer differences emerged between NS and NNS in their perception of the characteristics of Francophones. Participants’ perception of French was linked to their perception of Francophones, especially among NNS. Interestingly, NS judged their language to be generally more difficult than NNS. However, when looking at specific areas of difficulty, NS judged only spelling to be more difficult than NNS.\ud While the effect of variables such as sex and age was found to be negligible, the effect of multilingualism proved to be quite strong. Participants knowing more languages (both NS and NNS of French) perceived French and certain areas of difficulty in French quite differently from participants knowing fewer languages. This suggests that multilingualism does not only affect how individuals use and acquire their languages but also how they feel about them

Topics: alc
Publisher: Peter Lang
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:837
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