I've got a gut feeling that I'd regret not choosing Spanish’. A critical discourse analysis of language option choice discussions on Mumsnet and Studentroom

Ursula Lanvers, Agata Lambrechts, Madeline Crosswaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Like other anglophone countries, the UK is experiencing a language
‘crisis’, in that fewer and fewer students opt to study a foreign language (FL)
beyond the compulsory phase, and that the UK’s language skills do not
match its economic needs. Despite strong statements of commitments
to increase FL uptake, decline in FL uptake in the UK’s four nations
persists. In a novel approach, this study investigates how key
stakeholders (parents, students) discuss whether to continue with FL
study beyond the compulsory phase on the internet platforms Mumsnet
and Studentroom. The researchers undertook a thematic analysis of
threads relevant to this topic on these platforms, in two equal-sized
corpora from Mumsnet and Studentroom respectively. The analysis of
stakeholders’ stances towards both current, and wished for, FL policies
and practices is then utilised to formulate five FL policy suggestions that
respect stakeholders’ preferences and concerns, and could lead to
facilitating the choice for a FL beyond the compulsory phase.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage Learning Journal
Early online date25 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2019

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