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ERIC Number: ED558287
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 238
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3038-2253-7
Measuring Attitudinal Change: A Sociolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Investigation into Perceptions of African American English and Academic English
Latterman, Caroline Kennelly
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
This experiment measured teachers' attitudes towards African American English and Academic English. Participants were graduate students of Education at a college in New York City. They completed a paper-and-pencil questionnaire that assessed their explicit attitudes towards the two varieties, as well as a Psycholinguistic Experiment that was designed to capture their implicit attitudes. They completed these measures at the beginning of the semester and again at the end. In between the Pre- and Post-Tests they participated in six lessons that gave an overview of the syntax, phonology, and social issues surrounding African American English. After the six lessons the participants completed the same attitudinal measures as before, and the change in attitudes was measured. Participants' attitudes changed significantly from originally thinking that African American English was a slang, lazy manner of speaking, to believing that it is a rule-governed variety that has social value. The Psycholinguistic Experiment was designed within the matched-guise methodology, such that participants heard four speech samples ostensibly from four different speakers, yet there were in fact only two speakers who each gave two separate samples. One speaker was an African American woman and the other was a White woman. Each speaker told a story in African American English and another story in Academic English, for a total of four different stories. Participants heard one story and then completed an adjective discrimination task in which they assigned eleven sets of opposing adjectives to the speaker they just heard, using a response box that timed their responses down to the millisecond. They completed this activity for all four speech samples. After the Pre-Psycholinguistic Experiment the participants strongly preferred the speech of the White speaker, regardless of what variety she was using. By the Post-Psycholinguistic Experiment, however, the only significant interaction was that participants strongly preferred the White speaker using African American English over the African American speaker using that same variety. The results are considered positive in keeping with the goals of the experiment, which included increasing the participants' positive attitudes towards African American English. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York