Popular Culture and English Language Learning: A Study among Youth in India

Acharya, Sharda (2015) Popular Culture and English Language Learning: A Study among Youth in India. PhD thesis.



This study looks at how popular cultural forms like internet, social networking sites, television, popular music, cinema, newspapers, magazines etc. are impacting the language environment of today’s youth, and in the process whether a ‘new’ language style is emerging among them. Today, standing on the threshold of 21stcentury, as we look back into the 20thcentury, we find that various youth identities have emerged, with their characteristic styles in music, dance, clothing, hairstyle and language, generously assisted by the corresponding progress of the mass media and interactive digital media such as the internet. In the midst of such cultural dynamism, language undoubtedly will take on new forms and uses in a world in which communication is mediated through numerous agencies. With the proliferation of television channels, social networking sites, blogs, music and film genres, video and computer games etc. the youth of today’s generation live a life that is completely dominated by technology and pop culture. The pressure to fit into the group, to be one in the crowd, is so overpowering for youngsters today that most of them live life dictated by what they see in movies, TV serials, fashion and popular magazines etc. Speakers are seen to be using language creatively in specific local contexts to achieve particular social and interactional goals, and in the process both language and culture are reshaped to fit new, locally meaningful identities. The study was initially conceived with three basic objectives in mind: to examine the impact of popular culture forms on the everyday language environment of Indian youth; to explore the various ways and methods by which popular cultural forms can be used for English language learning amongst students at the tertiary level, and to delineate the changes in the language habits of the youth because of the new adaptations. The research draws chiefly from primary data, and the method applied was a questionnaire-based survey among undergraduate students of different educational backgrounds namely, engineering, medical, arts, commerce and science disciplines of various colleges of Odisha. Data was elicited from the students in their classrooms; hence the context was quite normal for them. The questionnaire included both close-ended and open-ended questions, and 626 students, both male and female, were accessed for the study. The findings of the study indicate that the language environment of the youth of the state is decisively influenced by today’s popular cultural forms. They enjoy being a part of it as that reassures their identity in the group of their peers inside or outside their study environment. All popular culture forms are v important means of English language learning that if used wisely and properly can become valuable teaching resources for teachers in the classrooms. The survey data reveals that popular cultural forms like print media, internet, television and SNSs are affecting the English language environment of Indian youth more than any other forms. In addition, the findings also indicate that today’s new media is generating a new language style, i.e. a new way of speaking and writing that includes shortcuts, simplifications, instant messaging, blends, neologisms etc., and whose primary users are the youth.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:culture, popular culture, popular cultural forms, English language, Indian youth, language learning, classroom learning, classroom tools, social networking sites, internet, print media, television, English music, English cinema, radio, mobile phones
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Literary and Cultural studies
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:6726
Deposited By:Mr. Sanat Kumar Behera
Deposited On:06 Nov 2015 15:11
Last Modified:06 Nov 2015 15:36
Supervisor(s):Mohanty, S

Repository Staff Only: item control page