The spread of English in Portugal: a contribution to an understanding of the phenomenon.

Leslie, Carolyn E. (2009) The spread of English in Portugal: a contribution to an understanding of the phenomenon. MA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this study is to investigate some aspects of the spread of English in Portugal, a country situated in South West Europe. An indication of the increasing use of English in Portugal was provided by comparing the frequency of English loanwords in two newspapers from 1989 and 2009 and an indication of how English may spread in the future was undertaken using a questionnaire distributed amongst 200 undergraduates to determine their contact with and attitudes towards the language. This group was chosen as such students are thought to be fundamentally important in the spread of the language. Results from textual data show that the use of loanwords in the newspapers under investigation has doubled in the past twenty years. Questionnaire results reveal that although contact with the language through personal networks is less frequent, all students have contact with the language through the media. Results for attitudes amongst students reveal positive attitudes towards the language and its speakers, and a belief that knowledge of English can bring pragmatic gains. In conclusion, it would seem that contact through the media, plus the increasing importance of English in the education system, coupled with positive attitudes towards the language will lead to an increased rate of spread of the language in the future. However it is felt that, for the moment, the Portuguese will continue to consider English as a foreign language and look to Inner Circle standards as models of the language.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Languages and Area Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/744

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