ERIC Number: EJ856554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
The Debate over Literary Tamil versus Standard Spoken Tamil: What Do Teachers Say?
Saravanan, Vanithamani; Lakshmi, Seetha; Caleon, Imelda S.
Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, v8 n4 p221-235 2009
This study aims to determine the attitudes toward Standard Spoken Tamil (SST) and Literary Tamil (LT) of 46 Tamil teachers in Singapore. The teachers' attitudes were used as an indicator of the acceptance or nonacceptance of SST as a viable option in the teaching of Tamil in the classroom, in which the focus has been largely on LT. The matched-guise technique, which involves four-point semantic differential scales, was used in this study. Three attitude dimensions--status, solidarity, and social attractiveness--and three additional distinct traits--love for language, suitability for Tamil teaching, and suitability for media presentation--were used. The attitudes of the teachers, particularly the younger ones, suggest an inclination toward the acceptance of SST, specifically in relation to the two latter traits. LT speakers were perceived as having higher status than SST speakers. The age of respondents, in general, did not interact with language attitudes, but pitch and pitch variation in the voice of speakers did. The results of the study reflect a changing attitude toward diglossia, with the younger generation viewing the divide between H and L varieties becoming narrower. The outcomes of this study show that SST might have a place in the teaching of Tamil, especially when younger teachers are involved. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)
Descriptors: Mass Media, Teacher Attitudes, Semantics, Language Attitudes, Semantic Differential, Attitude Change, Foreign Countries, Dravidian Languages, Bilingualism, Standard Spoken Usage, Intonation, Phonology, Age, Language Variation
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore