Harmful effects and implications of accent discrimination
Harmful effects on ESL learners
As concluded by Munro (2003), accent discrimination has played a negative effect on many situations. Some of the most common cases include discrimination in hiring process, in employment, and even resulting in harassments. As a harmful result, second language users are facing negative forces that may cause them to question beyond the issue. One example is these learners start questioning their own characteristics. Aspects such as skin color, dress, and other behaviors fall into the category, and soon, these second language users will show decrease in self-esteem, questioning if the issue is more than just accent. When this happens, most people with low confidence and unwilling to confront issues, will chose to avoid situation that requires oral communications, resulting the stage of avoiding contact with native speakers. The second stage starts when these low self-esteem learners seek companion. And because their lack of effort in talking with their ESL teachers, it is more likely that they find people with similar situations. These second language learners, who have experienced accent discrimination, will form a self-protective group. Inside this group, they are free to communicate in their first language and regain self-confidence. Unfortunately, as a result, they begin losing interest in improving their English and focus their social lives within the group. This can be summarized as lose of motivation. If no one interferes with this group of people, sooner or later, the group of people will start to feel isolated and disconnected with the native Canadians, leaving the accent discrimination issue unsolved, and even causing reversed effects, such as hostility and more discrimination towards the nation. This is the end of the cycle where people lose faith in believing Canada is an equal opportunity country that welcomes diversified culture. As we can see, the issue...
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