March 18th — Eimi Watanabe: The Effect of Prior Knowledge on Attitudes towards Bilinguals

The Effect of Prior Knowledge on Attitudes towards Bilinguals
Hay and Drager (2010) found that stuffed animals in the room can influence the listeners’ perception of vowels. Participants who saw the stuffed toy shifted their responses towards the country the toy was associated with. Rubin’s research (1992) played an audio mock lecture to two groups of students while showing different photos of the lecturer. Students showed different attitudes towards the lecturer although they were listening to the same recording. As shown in these studies, previous research has found that information given to participants can influence the way we hear or think we hear things.
The main focus of my research is to investigate British people’s attitudes towards Japanese-English bilinguals. The presentation will discuss whether or not having prior knowledge of the speaker can influence the listeners’ perception. I will also be addressing the problems that has arisen with regards to data presentation. As I am currently at the preliminary stage of analysis, comments are greatly appreciated.

Hay, J. & Drager, K. (2010). Stuffed toys and speech perception. Linguistics, 48 (84), 865-892.
Rubin, D. L. (1992). Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates’ judgments of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education, 33 (4), 511-531.