Cameroon English Accent in a Diasporic Context: Perceptions of ESL Cameroonian Teachers in Thailand
Keywords:Cameroon English, Diasporic context, English accent, ESL teachers, Linguistic prejudice, Thailand
This study investigates the accent attitudes of 52 ESL Cameroonian teachers in Thailand towards Cameroon English (CamE) accent. Motivated by the desire to know more about the treatment that CamE accent receives among the Cameroonian community in Thailand, an aspect that had hitherto received little attention, a matched-guise technique and a language attitude questionnaire were used to investigate the phenomenon of linguistic prejudice on the part of the participants. Semantic differential scales, descriptive statistical processing, and thematic analyses were employed to process and interpret the data. Overall, the results show the participants’ positive attitudes towards CamE accent. The participants reported that mutual intelligibility and authenticity prevail over language purism, indicating that CamE accent is gaining more recognition even in the diaspora and can stand as an autonomous accent given the global role/uses of English as an international language. This implies that non-native speakers should not be stigmatized or feel linguistically insecured because of their accent since attitudinal judgments are more of a result of linguistic prejudices.