Investigating Differences In Foreign Language Education In The State Of North Carolina And The Wallonia Region Of Belgium

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jordan Kelley (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Cameron Lippard

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to understand how foreign language education differs between the state of North Carolina and the Belgian region of Wallonia. The United States does not have an official language, but an Anglophonic hegemony that makes English the most important and valuable language to speak. Belgium has three official languages, and great emphasis is placed on learning foreign languages. Both countries take different approaches to foreign language education, and this impacts how individuals learn, practice, and master foreign languages. The aim is to understand how policies, social institutions, and cultural norms in the two countries interact to influence the motivation and language learning experience at the individual level. A total of 12 respondents were interviewed in-depth, with six respondents from Wallonia and six respondents from North Carolina, about their experiences learning and attitudes about languages. The two groups were compared by analyzing interviews for common and differing themes.These results reveal that Belgian individuals had more consistent school requirements for foreign language education, while the North Carolina students did not. This difference impacted their language proficiency level and usage of the foreign language. All individuals interviewed found importance in learning and using (a) foreign language(s), but the reasons why varied between the two countries. Future research could expand the North Carolina subset to those who did not choose to study (or continue with) a foreign language, to understand where their choice comes from, and how their attitudes differ from students who did choose to continue foreign language education.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Kelley, J. (2023). Investigating Differences In Foreign Language Education In The State Of North Carolina And The Wallonia Region Of Belgium. Unpublished Honors Thesis. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2023
Foreign language education, Wallonia, North Carolina, Sociology, Sociolinguistics, American exceptionalism

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