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ERIC Number: ED550460
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 219
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2678-4177-3
Racial Identity, Language Attitudes and Educational Experiences: The Voices of African American College Students
Stewart, Gail A.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Seattle Pacific University
The current study examines the language attitudes, racial identity and educational experiences of 75 African American university and community college students. This study is motivated by the hypothesis that the power of language attitudes dictates, to a large extent, the language one speaks, which is intimately tied to one's sense of identity. Thus, the language attitudes of students and the perceived language attitudes of their classmates and professors can have a profound impact on the educational experiences of students who speak a socially stigmatized variety of English, and hence on these students' academic persistence and success. The major purposes of the study are to 1) explore the relationship between language attitudes and racial identity, 2) analyze gendered differences in racial identity and language attitudes, and 3) to examine the relationship between language attitudes and the classroom experiences of African American students. After an extensive review of the literature, it appears that there is not a current existing instrument that measures language attitudes and racial identity simultaneously. Therefore, a Language Attitudes Questionnaire (LAQ) has been developed by the author. This study also utilizes the Cross Racial Identity Scale (Cross & Vandiver, 2001; Vandiver, Cross, Fhagen-Smith, Worrell, Swim, & Caldwell, 2000; Worrell, Vandiver, & Cross, 2004), which is based on the "Psychology of Nigrescence", a multidimensional theoretical model that measures attitudes of African Americans (Cross, 1979, 1991, 1995; Vandiver, Cross, Worrell, & Fhagen-Smith, 2002; Vandiver, Fhagen-Smith, Cokley, Cross, & Worrell, 2001). Correlations and MANOVA are used in this study to examine the relationship between the variables of racial identity, language attitudes and classroom experience. Exploratory factor analysis is used to determine the dimensionality of the LAQ. Results suggest that there is a diversity of opinion among African American students on the meaning and application of language use and racial identity. However, African American males may have somewhat more favorable attitudes towards Ebonics/African American Vernacular, as compared to African American females. Correlational analyses indicate that when the variables of language attitudes and racial identity are examined simultaneously, there are some statistically significant relationships, thus supporting the hypothesis that racial identity and language attitudes are inextricably linked. The importance and ramifications of this study for future educational practice will be suggested. Future development and implementation of the LAQ will also be discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A