Students of English vs. Students of Economics: Attitudes towards English Accents and the Motivations behind them
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RP is used as a teaching standard in most secondary schools in the Netherlands (Van der Haagen, 1998, Trudgill and Hannah, 2008). This contrasts with the English accents heard on Dutch television, which are mainly American. Information on motivations of students to learn English and their preferences in accents is highly important to keep the subject of the English language in secondary school education up to date. Attitudes to varieties of English have been researched to a great extent, yet no previous study has investigated differences in attitudes towards varieties of English between students of different disciplines. This study investigates attitudes of students enrolled in the Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Economics, and the Bachelor’s degree in English Language and culture. Data for this study were collected using a questionnaire. The results suggest a difference in attitudes when comparing the two groups both at closed and open questions. This difference is important as information on attitudes to English and preferences for accents can help to improve the educational system in terms of the subject of English, as these attitudes influence students’ motivation to learn English.