Abstract

With the focus on the systemic attitudes, this study examines previous background in foreign language, attitudes about language in general, and the relation of language to identity. This study stresses the defining process in the making of American as a national and cultural identiy, and how it has changed over the years. It examines the role of xenophobia and xenoglossophobia in the context of American identity, and through its evolution in past and current sociopolitical belives impacting an overall disinterest in foreign language. The disinterest in foreign language is investigated to discover the reasons why foreign language programs are being cut, why people are not studying them, and why they are not growing despite the presented humanistic, economic, and social benefits. It explores the historical background of interest and disinterest in foreign language and how that is tied to an establish pattern of nativist attitudes that include aspects such as English-only policies. This study surveyed 100 participants about their perspectives on foreign language and how it relates to identity, their ability to speak another language, and what factors prevent someone from learning another language. With these results, this study is a call to action for foreign language education in the United States and awareness of differences in cultural attitudes, norms, and beliefs tied to language.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 12-3-2020

Mentor

Dr. José Juan Goméz-Becerra

Mentor Department Affiliation

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level

Bachelors

Department

Languages, Cultures, and Humanities

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