Interviewer: Hi, so I’m going to ask you a few questions about yourself and your perception of what English is and how you interpret the different English languages around the world. How it effects you both emotionally and culturally and also cognitively. This will help me to understand the different views that certain individuals have on themselves as English speakers and how they are effected and also to learn how much they know about the world as a whole in the sense of English. So you can start by telling me a few things about yourself. Where do you come from originally? Interviewee: Yes that’s fine. I am sri Lankan. My parents are originially from srilanka but we migrated here when I was 7 years old. Interviewer: At what age did you learn to speak English?
Interviewee: I went to a Sinhalese school in srilanka. It was important back in those days that all children learnt English…it was the cool language if you may. So my mum enrolled me and my sister to this elocution class. We went for lessons every week after school. I remember being taught how to say the vowels, the teacher told me to shape my mouth in a certain way to help the sound come out right. I was also enrolled into a school called British council. It was a separate school for English. They taught nursery rhymes and I remember learning the hockey pockey. My mum made sure we went to a few classes to keep up with English. She thought it might come in handy one day and it did. Interviewer: That’s good. So do you think learning English at a young age helped you in many ways? Interviewee: Yes actually. Im very thankful that my parents did all that when I was younger. I wouldn’t have known how much itll help till now. Things are easier to remember and even at university its easier to understand things. Interviewer: What language do you speak at home? With your family? Interviewee: I speak in singlish at home.
Interviewer: what is singlish?
Interviewee: Its what srilankans call a mix of Sinhala and english. I rememebr when we first came to Australia, my dad use to scream at me for speaking to him in English. He refused to answer my questions till I asked them in proper Sinhala. I think its because he didn’t want us to forget our native language. He always believed and still believes that if you forget Sinhala, you will forget the tradition that it carries. But I always believed the same thing. But after awhile they got use to me and my sister talking to each other in English. Part of this was because they realized that when we saw each other at school, we couldn’t speak to each other in Sinhala. Partly because we were too embarrassed of our language. To speak in front of Australian kids. We thought they would find it weird. Interviewer: I understand what you mean, I had the same problem because it was weird and rude? I thought it was also rude when other kids at school spoke to each other in like Chinese or something and I didn’t understand. I didn’t want to be left out. So you think you speak in singlish at home. But what about outside? What about with your friends? What English do you think you speak? Interviewee: I speak Australian English.
Interviewer: What would you define is Australian English? For example, do you think its british English or American English? Interviewee: Well I think I speak both. I know that Astralian English is suppose to be british englihs. But when I speak with my friends I speak both englishes. I think I have grown up watching a lot of American movies. For example I love to watch gangster movies with stories about people from the “hood” and I love how they speak. Being attracted to people with the same likes and dislikes as myself, a lot of my friends are the same. When I am with my closest friends I tend to use ganster language. For example I would say “Wassssup?” when I see them. Interviewer: haha yes I know what you mean. Thank you! I think I have got all the information I need....
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