”You Obviously Want to Avoid Grammatical Errors, Right?”
Danish High-School Students’ Language Attitudes to Grammatical Errors in Written English
Keywords:language attitudes, error perception, grammatical correctness, foreign language research
This paper aims to explore Danish high-school students’ perceptions of grammatical errors in English texts by examining their conscious and unconscious language attitudes to grammatical errors in written English. In order to do this, a three-part survey consisting of a matched guise test, a questionnaire, and an error identification section was conducted with 44 Danish STX high-school students of A-level English from the capital area of Denmark. The findings indicate that Danish high-school students primarily hold negative conscious and unconscious language attitudes to grammatical errors in written English as the presence of certain grammatical errors in English texts causes negative perceptions of the writer’s competence. In addition to this, the findings indicate that their conscious language attitudes depend on the text type while their unconscious language attitudes depend on the error type. The present study concludes that readers’ conscious and unconscious perceptions of a writer’s competence are affected by the presence of grammatical errors, both when the errors are noticed and when they are not.
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