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Some Ways of Speaking in English


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The article ‘Some Ways of Speaking in English: A Malaysian perspective’ by Hyacinth Gaudart discussed varying ways of how English was being spoken by different speakers while taking into account their different cultural backgrounds. It focused on the speech patterns used and the implication of each to English language teaching in Malaysia.

Published in: Education, Technology
  • The critical review is not in the slides as I explained it during presentations. Decided to exclude it in the slides for some particular reasons.

    Additional points:

    There were some dearths of ethics in the research as recorded conversations which had been used as one of the data for the finding were done without the consent of the third parties who had involved along the process. It was highly unethical to produce a data by keeping the other participants uninformed that they were in the midst of a study. The cause for this action might be because the researcher found it difficult to get genuine and accurate responses if the intention of the study was unveiled beforehand. The researcher might also feel that to inform the participants that they were to be recorded for a study would be to impose on them and she might not get the desired result.

    Furthermore, this research was looked to be gender biased as the participants consisted mainly of females. Realizing this as a potential inhibiting factor to the research finding, the researcher clearly stated in the article that gender differences would be elicited in the study. However, it would only make the study unjust as cultural differences alone are not sufficient to contribute to the findings. The researcher should otherwise equalize the number of the participants and highlight gender distinctions as one of the factors that would play a part in the findings. This factor should never be sidelined as it has been contributing as a significant factor in a lot of research study. By taking more female participants as samples, the researcher also did not bring justice to the study.

    The research piqued my interest as such a breakdown in communication is common among students in schools and academic institutions and also in the workplace especially during an encounter with native speakers of English. The findings of the study could be used by many quarters regardless of race, age and social classes. Even though all the participants in the study have a good command of English language and are able to speak the language fluently, the findings revealed that problems however arose in certain conversation with the native speakers. This is due to differences in communication styles and speech patterns they adopted. Even though English language is a universal language, the finding showed that it was however perceived differently by different cultures and people.
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Some Ways of Speaking in English

  1. 1. Gaudart, H. (2008) Some Ways of Speaking in English: A Malaysian Perspective. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, Vol.4, 43-53.<br />Presented by : MaizatulRanai<br />CRITICAL REVIEW PRESENTATION<br />
  2. 2. Ways of how English is spoken from Malaysian perspectivesand implications for English language teaching.<br /> Difficulties faced by some English speakers when coming in contact with native speakers. <br />PARTICIPANTS :<br />-Proficient TESL undergraduates and postgraduates<br />-Non-Malaysian L1 & L2 speakers of English<br />( > 6 months in Malaysia)<br />The main problem :<br />
  3. 3. Observations<br />Interviews<br />Discussions<br />Journals<br />Recordings at special occasions<br />Data collection<br />
  4. 4. To convince readers that the ways English is being spoken is different according to the speakers’ cultural background.<br />Hymes(1962)<br /> Beyond syntax and phonology, cultural differences is another dimension that needs to be given due consideration.<br />Malaysian perspective<br />cultural distinctions due to racial differences.<br />Purpose<br />
  5. 5. Communication clashes<br />Varying pronunciation<br />Lexical choices<br />Ways of speaking (conversation styles)<br />Results<br />
  6. 6. Greetings<br /> An American was standing outside his apartment, smoking a cigarette. A neighbour came by. The American greeted the neighbourwith “Hi! How’re doing?”<br /> The neighbour responded, “Hi! Have you eaten?”<br /> “Not yet,” he answered.<br /> The neighbour smiled, walked on, got into his car and drive away.<br />Examples of clashes<br />
  7. 7. Farewell<br /><ul><li>Situation : My little nieces birthday. However there were more adults than children.
  8. 8. Speech act : Leave taking</li></ul> “When it was time to leave, we said our goodbyes, but stood around the living room, still talking. Next we moved to the door and put on our footwear. We stopped and chatted for a few more minutes. The next stop was at the gate. We chatted again. I was getting impatient with my parents. I wanted them to hurry up because I had some reading to do. Then we reached the car. Guess what? We stopped to chat some more. When we finally got into the car, I thought we would take off. But my uncle’s family came to the car and they talked some more. When we finally left, I remembered that I should have timed how long it took us from the first leave taking to when we finally went.”<br />
  9. 9. Forms of address<br />-Full titles ; Mr, Mrs and Ms.<br />-Polite way or convenient way to address elders ; Uncle<br />-Wrongly address ; Chinese names<br />Tan Poi Lim : Mr Lim instead of Mr Tan<br />
  10. 10. Reluctance to receiving compliments, unlike non-Malaysians.<br />Example:<br />A: Wah! Your dress very nice, lah!<br />B : Nah lah! Bought from PasarMalam. only.<br />A: PasarMalam also still nice what!<br />B : No response<br />Accepting compliments<br />
  11. 11. Interactions at informal gatherings<br />Example: (A journal kept by a Malaysian participant on a visit to Britain)<br />A : You must try this. I only make it once a year.<br />B : I haven’t tasted it before.<br />A : Good. You can taste it now.<br />B : Ey, not so much!<br />A : So little how to taste?<br />B : Little first then can take some more.<br />A : Ah! Your husband can take some more.<br />C : Thank you, Aunty. I think I’ve had enough.<br />A : What enough! Man must eat like a man!<br />(Puts more food on his plate)<br />
  12. 12. Advanced learners in schools have complained that they learn nothing in classes.<br />Teachers of advanced learners said their students are fluent in English and there is nothing much to teach them.<br />Conclusion<br />
  13. 13. Teach students to vary their language according to what is appropriate.<br />Identify forms and functions of language.<br />Identify similarities and differences between Malaysian culture and the cultures of L1 and L2 speakers of English in other countries. <br />Use authentic materials – snippets from film/movies, documentaries, news, broadcasts, television shows, photographs, magazines, newspapers and printed materials like brochures, menus and ads.<br />Role play and drama.<br />Recommendation for teachers<br />