WORLD ENGLISHES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION
Over the past few decades, the notion of World Englishes has achieved much attention among linguists, language teachers, and other professionals. The present study explores the impact these trends have had on university education in the field of English philology and culture, focusing on the study programmes run by the Applied Languages Faculty, the University of Economics in Bratislava, Slovakia. Our research was designed to gain insights into the students’ perception of varieties of English and identify those areas which require more attention in order to provide students with the most relevant content. The research sample contained 130 students of one BA and one MA programme. Our research was based on a questionnaire which provided us with the data on students’ awareness of the studied issues. The data were subsequently processed using combined quantitative and qualitative methods. One part of the data was statistically analysed with regard to the frequency of certain aspects. The second part was analysed focusing on students’ attitudes and evaluative statements. Results of the analysis indicated both the key tendencies in their thought and the orientation of the occasional excentric views. The research outcomes enabled us to establish several important facts, e.g. a relatively insufficient understanding of the relevant terminology and concepts, high awareness of the existence of varieties of English, and, simultaneously, low awareness of the features distinguishing those varieties, etc. The conclusions point out those areas which should be represented more extensively in our curricula to reflect the actual current situation in the English language.
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