Multidialectism: A Challenge in Teaching a Second Language


  • Ginneth Pizarro-Chacón Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica



Multidialectal teaching, Standard English, distinctive traces, syllabus planning.


This work aimed at making a research and collecting information related to the teaching of English as a multidialectal language. This language is commonly taught according to the standard rules imposed by a dominant dialect -American Standard English. This research discusses how a particular language is developed into several dialects and how their evolution is affected by historical events and generational and social issues. Besides, it states that linguistic variability develops according to individual and group necessities in a community. At the same time, it explains the key role of mutual intelligibility among native or non-native speakers. Another key aspect is the relevance of learning several dialectal variations as well as their distinctive traces, depending on the geographical area, speakers, and their formal or informal use. However, the following linguistic dilemma remains -should language teachers teach a specific dialect and omit other varieties? To achieve the main objectives of this work, an exhaustive literature review was conducted, and a questionnaire was applied to 35 language students from the Universidad Nacional of Costa Rica. Moreover, some weaknesses experienced by second language learners were shown; namely, the learning of a single dialect -the American English, their inability to identify specific distinctive traces from other dialects. Additionally, some prejudices towards certain dialects that are not considered prestigious were evident during the analysis of the findings. Finally, this paper also discusses that continuous exposure to different dialects and their inclusion in the course syllabus and class activities would enhance the linguistic proficiency of language learners –particularly in English.

Author Biography

Ginneth Pizarro-Chacón, Universidad Nacional

Máster en Lingüística de la Universidad de Costa Rica. Labora como docente impartiendo los cursos de Lingüística en la Escuela de Literatura y Ciencias del Lenguaje, Heredia, Costa Rica. Ha realizado trabajos de investigación en gramática comunicativa, sociolingüística, lenguas indígenas, criollo limonense, uso de las TIC en la enseñanza y técnicas metodológicas en la enseñanza de una segunda lengua entre otros. Ha publicado estudios en varias revistas.


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How to Cite

Multidialectism: A Challenge in Teaching a Second Language (G. Pizarro-Chacón , Trans.). (2015). Revista Electrónica Educare, 19(2), 359-381.



Journal Articles (Peer Reviewed Section)

How to Cite

Multidialectism: A Challenge in Teaching a Second Language (G. Pizarro-Chacón , Trans.). (2015). Revista Electrónica Educare, 19(2), 359-381.

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