English language Students' Social Representations in Mexico: The Case of the Metropolitan Autonomous University - Xochimilco
A study was carried out to explore English language students’ social representations with regard to this language in the learning context at the Metropolitan Autonomous University, Campus Xochimilco in Mexico City. The research was done through the use of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods. As a starting point, with a methodological purpose it was assumed that social representations are constructed primarily in three dimensions – the field of representations, attitudes and information. The following hypothesis was formulated: both the role of English in the students’ personal, academic and professional lives and the attitudes of the former to this language largely depend on the learners’ sociocultural and academic backgrounds, their relevant knowledge and experiences. First, university students participated in responding to a questionnaire prepared on the basis of their sociocultural, academic and demographic characteristics, and also on their life and work projects related to the language in question. Thus, certain generalizing and tendentious data were obtained using statistics. Then a number of language learners were chosen for a semi-structured interview, and their discourses were qualitatively analyzed and interpreted in relation to significance the students attach to English in various fields of their lives and in the modern world in general.
Keywords: Mexican University Students, Social Representations, English Language
Prof. Anna Vitalievna Sokolova Grinovievkaya
English language teacher, Department of Education and Comunication,
Maria de Lourdes Fournier García
Professor, Department of Politics and Culture, Division of Social Sciences and Humanities, Metropolitan Autonomous University - Xochimilco