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Teachers as new speakers of a minority language: identity, speakerness, and ideologies on variation in Irish

Ó Murchadha, Noel orcid logoORCID: 0000-0002-2130-6282 and Flynn, Colin J. orcid logoORCID: 0000-0001-5776-9054 (2022) Teachers as new speakers of a minority language: identity, speakerness, and ideologies on variation in Irish. International Journal of Bilingualism, 26 (5). pp. 584-600. ISSN 1367-0069

Aims and objectives: This article reports the ideologies on linguistic variation among a cohort of new speaker teachers (NSTs) of Irish. It investigates responses to the three main traditional dialects of Irish and a post-traditional variety common among new speakers. Design and methodology: An experimental design was employed. Participants responded to 15-second samples of four speakers, first on adjective items referring to speakers’ characteristics (speaker phase) and second on statements referring specifically to the type of Irish in the samples (speech phase). Background information was also gathered, for example, school type, place of origin, and type of Irish spoken. Data and analysis: We present the responses of a subset of 88 NSTs of Irish, focusing specifically on participants’ responses in the speech phase where they evaluated the type of Irish in the samples. Data were analysed to determine whether there were significant differences in the ratings of samples within different respondent subgroups. Findings and conclusions: Some significant differences were found among subgroups. Teachers working in Irish-medium schools align more closely with established native speaker language ideologies than those in English-medium institutions. Participants did not distinguish significantly between their local Gaeltacht variety and other Gaeltacht areas, but did rate all three Gaeltacht samples more positively than the new speaker variety. Finally, participants who self-identify as speakers of ‘standard’ Irish and those who describe themselves as practising a Gaeltacht variety rated the Gaeltacht samples more positively. Originality: While experimental investigations of linguistic ideologies are central to sociolinguistics, this article is original in its focus on the ideologies of NSTs of Irish. Significance and implications: This research illustrates the robustness of established ideologies in the responses of some participants but shows that others challenge these ideologies. Results speak to the complexities and contradictions of identity and speakerness among NSTs of a minority language.
Item Type:Article (Published)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Language ideologies; language attitudes; new speakers; teachers; Irish
Subjects:Humanities > Irish language
Humanities > Linguistics
Social Sciences > Education
Social Sciences > Social psychology
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Official URL:https://dx.doi.org/10.1177/13670069221110384
Copyright Information:© 2022 The Authors. Open Access (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
Funders:An Chomhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta, The Irish Research Council’s New Foundations scheme
ID Code:27813
Deposited On:29 Sep 2022 11:44 by Colin Flynn . Last Modified 15 Nov 2023 10:41

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