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Poster ID #370

Abstract

My research took place among young adult Tongans, ages 18-30 on the main island of Nuku'alofa in the last remaining Pacific Kingdom of Tonga where Tongan and English are both recognized as official languages. Previous research in Tonga shows that robust sectors of the economy, involving business, tourism, and education, requires English language proficiency for good employment. Consequently, Tongans highly esteem English proficiency, although my experience revealed English practically non-existent in daily communication. Why? Divulging, interviewing, and surveying the impacts of English, past, present, and future, presented three main reasons for social aversion toward speaking English which for them, often outweigh the positive connections of it. Those reasons: (1) public mockery, even for minuscule mistakes; (2) linked with snobbery as speaking English flaunts connections outside of Tonga, and most importantly; (3) speaking English differentiates you from the community which opposes a core Tongan value of group orientation.

Description

The Annual Mary Lou Fulton Mentored Research Conference showcases some of the best student research from the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. The mentored learning program encourages undergraduate students to participate in hands-on and practical research under the direction of a faculty member. Students create these posters as an aide in presenting the results of their research to the public, faculty, and their peers.

Publication Date

2010-04-01

Permanent URL

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/2259

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Anthropology

The Paradox of English in Tonga: Attributed Status vs. Social Aversion

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Anthropology Commons

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