Language attitudes in Algeria
This article examines language attitudes among Algerian first and second year engineering students at an Algerian university. A sample of 101 participants responded to a 51-item questionnaire. The results of the questionnaire showed a strong preference of Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), English, and French by native speakers of Algerian Arabic (Derja). Native speakers of Tamazight (a Berber language) preferred MSA, English, French, and Tamazight. Participants were divided on many questions regarding MSA and Tamazight. It was also found that respondents favored English as a useful vehicle of economic opportunity and knowledge transfer. An overwhelming majority of respondents viewed multilingualism in Algeria positively. Interestingly, both Derja and Tamazight native speakers unanimously rejected promoting Derja to an official political status, and they indicated support for the teaching of English and French in school. Possible motives behind the attitudes are discussed and implications are suggested.
Keywords: Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), Derja (Algerian Arabic), English, French, Tamazight (Berber), language attitudes, Algeria
Published online: 21 June 2018
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