This study aimed to examine the attitudes of 63 Saudi female students who study English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Saudi Arabia toward British and American accents. Methods used in this study was Verbal Guise Technique (VGT), a subsequent development of Matched Guise Technique (MGT). These were indirect methods of measuring participants’ attitudes toward different groups. The materials used in the present study required a set of two studies using the same British and American stimulus recordings – the first to identify a set of relevant traits for the rating scales and the second to collect actual ratings on those scales. Thus, the results showed a preference for British accent and female speakers, particularly in terms of status, despite participants’ inability to distinguish British and American accents consciously. This suggests that conscious ability to distinguish speakers’ dialects and identify their nationalities is not a necessary precondition to having different (unconscious) perceptions of those speakers. The bases of the unconscious perceptions found in this thesis remain a mystery.
Keywords: Attitudes of EFL, British accent, American accent, Verbal Guise Technique, Matched Guise Technique, unconscious perceptions
Alenezy, Eiman Nassar
California State University at Fresno, College of Art, Fresno, United States of America