Pre-service teachers’ attitudes and ethnocentrism regarding language-in-education issues

  • Joyce West


Different attitudes towards the use of English as the MoI within a multilingual environment exist. These attitudes can affect pre-service  teachers’ future classroom practices and learners’ performance. In this regard, ethnocentrism, an attitudinal indicator, should be  considered when investigating pre-service teachers’ attitudes towards language-in-education issues. Ethnocentrism, the tendency of an individual to identify strongly with their own ethnicity and reject others', draws on the social identity theory, owing to its focus on in-group-out-group distinctions, racism and stereotyping. This article’s primary purpose was to determine if preservice teachers’ attitudes toward language-ineducation issues are related to their degree of ethnocentrism. An embedded mixed- methods research design and a post-positivist paradigm was used. The research site was a private higher education institution with a mono-ethnic student population. A questionnaire using the Language Attitudes of Teachers Scale and the Generalised Ethnocentrism Scale served as the data collection instrument to measure 1 164 pre-service teachers' attitudes towards language-in-education issues and their degree of ethnocentrism. The data showed a statistically significant relationship between the pre-service teachers' attitudes and their degree of ethnocentrism and revealed potential indicators of lower and higher degrees of ethnocentrism. This study recommends that teacher education programmes create awareness of the relationship between attitudes and ethnocentrism to prepare pre-service teachers for multilingual and  multicultural classrooms.


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eISSN: 0259-9570