Language choice in mayan native students

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  • Publicado : 24 de junio de 2010
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Introduction

The reason why language choice is so important is because it is a phenomenon that guide us into the complexity of the language decisions in order to get the real reasons of why people prefers to use their first or second language, in which circumstances and why is so important to them. This following investigation has been made by us: Blanca Avila and Geraldine Flores, studentsof English Teaching Major of the University of Quintana Roo as a final project for our Sociolinguistics class.
The place we took in order to do this research is the University of Quintana Roo (UQROO) located in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
The next pages show a case study about the language choice among Mayan students from Uqroo because of the bilingualism existent in this region. Thequestions that guided this investigation are: when the Mayan native speakers use their first language to communicate inside the University as part of the university society? And, when they avoid using their language?
In order to determine the possible results we first narrowed the variables that may be taken into account. The variables are: the place of origin, the context and the culture. We decidedto use questionnaires in order to collect the data; they were applied to 20 Mayan native students from UQROO: 10 males and 10 females. The informants were chosen with the method of deliberate selection .
The possible results we thought we could get are three: The Mayan Students speak their language when they are with friends who speak the same language; they speak Mayan with other native speakersto say something confidential; and they do not use Mayan when they are talking about university’s activities.
The analysis of the data was made according to the variables and the hypotheses exposed previously. It is show also some extra data and a comparison with the similar study made by Joshua A. Fishman.

Background

The place we took in order to do this research is the University ofQuintana Roo (UQROO) located in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
Chetumal is a Mexican city, head of the municipality of Othón P. Blanco and capital of the state of Quintana Roo.
The municipality has a population of 219.763 habitants according to the results of Population and Housing Count 2005 carried out by the National Institute of Statistic, Geography and Computer science, of that total,109,059 are men and 110,704 are women and 21,940 habitants speak the Mayan language, the bilingual great majority to Spanish.
Chetumal is located to an altitude of 5 meters in the southeast end of the Yucatan Peninsula beside the Bay of Chetumal, in the coordinates 18°30′13″N, 88°18′19″O. Its climate is tropical and its main activity is the trade. Chetumal attracts great quantity of tourists for theproducts that imports. It has an international airport. The city markets wood and chewing gum. Sawmills and timber industries, factories of foils and triplay exist in this cities..
The city has a population of 136,825 habitants according to the Population and Housing Count 2005 carried out by the National Institute of Statistic, Geography and Computer science; from these population's total67,039 are men and 69,786 are women. The city of Chetumal is the second less populated of the capitals of the states of Mexico.
The University of Quintana Roo in Chetumal is one of the most demanding Universities in all the State. It is a university with a huge prestige among people from Chetumal and his surroundings.
The University has 35,245 students divided into its 9 degrees and 3 engineersthat offers. The majors the University offers are: Degree in Government and Public Administration, Social Anthropology, English Language, International Relationships, Laws, Economy and Finances, Handling of Natural Resources, Commercial Systems, Humanities, Engineering in Systems of Energy, Environmental engineering and Engineering in Nets.

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