Thai Learners’ Attitudes toward English Accents: Fields and Stages of Study

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Atikhom Thienthong
Kanyarat Uthaikorn


This study investigated the attitudes of 90 Thai learners toward English accents in relation to differing fields and stages of study, using a verbal-guise test (VGT) and a questionnaire. Respondents listened to and evaluated five speakers of English as a native language (ENL): American English (AmE) and British English (BrE), a second language (ESL): Indian English (InE) and Filipino English (FiE), and a foreign language (EFL): Thai English (ThE). The results reveal that most respondents hold significantly more favorable attitudes toward the ENL varieties than the non-ENL varieties with regard to status, solidarity, and speech. The former group is perceived as standard, proper and prestigious, but the reverse is true of the latter group. The ESL varieties, especially FiE are judged negatively for intelligibility while ThE is perceived as the most intelligible, followed by AmE and BrE. The results also show that Thai learners, irrespective of their field and stage of study, have similar attitudes in terms of social status. However, secondary-school students judge the non-ENL varieties more favorably than university students. These results suggest that teachers should expose students to different varieties of English in the early years of English language teaching (ELT) since they may not have acquired a deep-seated native-speakerism ideology.


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Thienthong, A., & Uthaikorn, K. (2023). Thai Learners’ Attitudes toward English Accents: Fields and Stages of Study. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 16(1), 676–702. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Atikhom Thienthong, English and Communication Program, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand

A lecturer in English and Communication Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand. His research interests include collocation, synonymy, pattern grammar, written discourse, corpora, and language attitude.

Kanyarat Uthaikorn, English and Communication Program, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand

A senior student in English and Communication Program, Faculty of Liberal Arts, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand when this study was conducted. Now, she teaches English at Anuban Ubonratchathani School, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. Her research interest includes language attitude and teaching young learners.


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