‘I like the Americans… but i certainly don’t aim for an American accent’: Language attitudes, vitality and foreign language learning in Denmark

Hans Jorgen Ladegaard, Itesh Sachdev

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The power and status of America in the world today are undeniable. This paper presents some empirical data about the attitudes and perceptions Danish learners of EFL have about British and American English. Ninety-six EFL learners participated in a verbal-guise experiment that involved rating different accents of English: American, Australian, Received Pronunciation (RP), Scottish and Cockney. Dependent measures on dimensions of status, solidarity and attractiveness of the language were obtained together with measures assessing the perceived attractiveness of American and British culture. Additionally, behavioural measures about specific features of American and British English in learners’ productions were also obtained. The results show that even though the vitality of American culture is acknowledged, the participants still demonstrate a preference for RP on important dimensions, and have no desire to adopt an American accent. The results are discussed with reference to vitality theory and the stereotypes Danish learners have about people from Britain and America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture and language learning
  • EFL
  • Language attitudes
  • Standard American versus received pronunciation
  • Vitality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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