The Spread of English in Portugal: A Contribution to an Understanding of the Phenomenon
Keywords:English, spread, attitudes, contact.
This study investigates some aspects of the spread of English in Portugal, a country situated in South West Europe. An indication of the increasing use of English in Portugal was provided by comparing the frequency of English loanwords in two newspapers from 1989 and 2009 and an indication of how English may spread in the future was undertaken using a questionnaire distributed amongst 200 undergraduates to determine their contact with and attitudes towards the language.
Results from textual data show that the use of loanwords in the newspapers under investigation has doubled in the past twenty years. Questionnaire results reveal that although contact with the language through personal networks is less frequent, all students have contact with the language through the media. Results for attitudes amongst students reveal positive attitudes towards the language and its speakers, and a belief that knowledge of English can bring pragmatic gains.
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