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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

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Publication details

JournalLanguage Learning Journal
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Dec 2019
DatePublished (current) - 27 Dec 2019
Number of pages16
Early online date25/12/19
Original languageEnglish


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.

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© 2019 Association for Language Learning. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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