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Volume 15 Number 1, Spring 2018, Pages 1-256 PDF Download

Attitudes of Students in the Eight ASEAN Free Flow of Labor Professions towards World Englishes

    Sukanya Kaowiwattanakul

This research study aimed to examine the attitudes of students in the eight ASEAN free flow of labor professions towards the notion of World Englishes and to investigate the role of universities in promoting World Englishes to prepare students for the ASEAN marketplace. The study sample comprised 1504 fourth-year students studying in the fields related to the eight professions: engineering, nursing, dentistry, architecture, surveying, medicine, accountancy, and tourism. Data collection was via questionnaires and semi-structured face-to-face interviews. The findings reveal both a pluricentric view and a centric view of the English language with these participants. The students seem to be aware of the existence of English varieties and realize the benefits and significance of knowing non-native English varieties for their future careers, particularly in ASEAN context. Nevertheless, they claim that either British or American English should be used in ASEAN for the most intelligibility. This study also found that education institutions currently still play only a minor role in promoting non-native English language varieties to students. The students' responses also indicate their need to learn non-native English varieties.

Keywords: World Englishes, ASEAN, free flow of labor professions, attitudes