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Recap of Week 4

With the final week of this course drawing to a close, let’s recap on what you learned this week in the usual manner.

The last week of this course focused on accentism. We learned about what accentism is, how it is realised or expressed, and the consequences it can have in different contexts. We reflected on accent reduction and discussed arguments for and against it.

We discussed language attitudes in the classroom, at the workplace, in the design of voice technology, and in the legal system. Here, we focused on the potential impact of accentism with reference to research in the field.

Below is a glossary of terms that were introduced this week.

Accentism: discriminatory or unfair behaviour centred on someone’s accent (Step 4.2).

Accent Bias Britain project: a research project investigating attitudes to various British accents and how these attitudes might play a role in the employment prospects of people aspiring to enter professional occupations such as those in law firms (Step 4.11).

Multicultural London English (MLE): a ‘multiethnolect’; the way in which young people living in multicultural and multilingual parts of London talk; it is the product of the contact between speakers of a wide number of language varieties: the English of people who use it as a second language, as well as African, Caribbean and Asian Englishes, Cockney, London Jamaican Creole, and Standard English (Step 4.7).

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity

University of York

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