Language attitude is a reflection of an individual’s feelings, thoughts and behaviors towards others and can be categorized into affective, cognitive and behavioral dimensions. This is innate for a person and does not have to be conforming to those of others because this is considered as subjective. To sum it up, language attitude involves an individual’s frame of mind, sentiments or feelings and their behavior towards a specific stimulus. Language serves as the building blocks for language ideology for this has a broader scope which involver a broader scope of people. Language ideology creates a movement for it promotes and upholds the emotions, behaviors and thoughts (language attitude) of a group of people. Through language ideology makes it possible for one generation to pass significant experiences to the next generation and allow them to build on experiences on the next and allow that generation to build on experiences it may not itself undergo. The building process enables people to modify their attitude in light of what previous generations have learned.
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A good example is an interaction with a representative from a call center. I have this negative attitude towards offshoring or outsourcing. Whenever I dial a 1-8000 number, I feel annoyed and disappointed whenever I find out that I am speaking to a representative from outside the United States, particularly India. This can be considered as an illustration of the affective dimension of language attitude. An example of cognitive dimension is my assumption or belief that customer service representatives from India are not able to express themselves well in English since their accent is very different and that they have very limited English vocabulary. This perception is a result of my previous interaction with a foreign exchange student from India wherein we had difficulty working together for a project because of the language barrier. As a result of my assumptions and feelings toward representatives from India, most of the time I request to speak with a representative from the United States or even request for a supervisor just to avoid having to deal with someone who does not have American accent. An individual’s language attitude affects his interaction with other people which can be a catalyst in building relationships by being able to influence and persuade the audience.
In relation to the example above, there are different sector of the government that are in opposition of outsourcing. These people have attended debates and discussion with the policy makers towards changing the legislation related to outsourcing jobs to other countries mainly for cost reduction and marketing strategy. These people utilize a collective approach on its members’ language attitude toward outsourcing and use it to be able to persuade and influence the government to make constitutional amendments.
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