Date of Award

Fall 12-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language

First Advisor

Stephanie Lindemann

Second Advisor

Lucy Pickering

Third Advisor

Eric Friginal

Fourth Advisor

John Murphy


English has become the default language of global communication, and users around the world are adapting the traditional standards of grammar and interaction. It is imperative that teachers of English keep pace with these changing conceptualizations of the language as well as the changing expectations of its users so that they can best prepare language learners for the sociolinguistic realities they will encounter. Teacher training programs have a critical role to play in that they must keep pace with both the changing global linguistic landscape and how these changes influence pre-service teachers. It is therefore imperative to understand the attitudes of pre-service teachers towards the varieties of English that their students will encounter.

This study considers the attitudes of pre-service TESOL teachers towards varieties of native and non-native English as used in naturalistic communicative situations. It considers personal factors that may play a role in how participants evaluate the interactive speech samples and whether TESOL training programs influence the development of attitudes towards language-in-use. To this end, a mixed methods design involving three primary components was used: an online survey of 70 respondents from 26 institutions, four focus group interviews, and a curriculum analysis of five teacher training programs.

This study is unique in that participants evaluate speech-in-action that is representative of the types of language found in many English as a lingua franca (ELF) settings. Among other things, primary results suggest that (a) standard language ideology influences many participant assessments of both native and non-native speech, (b) teacher training programs exert at least some influence on the attitudes of pre-service teachers towards varieties of spoken English in discourse, and (c) engagement with non-native speech in teacher preparation courses and language learning as a component of a curriculum can benefit pre-service teachers. Implications for applied linguistics, teacher training, and ELF are considered