ERIC Number: EJ787352
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Reference Count: 72
Enacting English Language Ownership in the Outer Circle: A Study of Singaporean Indians' Orientations to English Norms
Rubdy, Rani; Mckay, Sandra Lee; Alsagoff, Lubna; Bokhorst-Heng, Wendy D.
World Englishes, v27 n1 p40-67 Feb 2008
Singapore is unique in that it has not only embraced English as one of its official languages, but has made the language of its colonizers the "de facto" working language of the nation and the sole medium of instruction in all its schools, while assigning its other three official languages, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, an L2 status in the school curriculum. With the use of English institutionalized in almost all domains of life, present-day Singaporeans grow up as "English-knowing" bilinguals, acquiring English in the process of its use and interaction in school, in the playground, in the workplace, and increasingly in the home as well, making them native speakers of their variety of English. This raises interesting questions with regard to the ownership and authority of Singaporean speakers, and as to their legitimacy as mother-tongue speakers of the language. Drawing on Higgins' (2003) study on speakers' orientations towards English norms of Inner and Outer Circle countries, we examined Singaporean speakers' degree of ownership of their English norms along the dimensions of age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. In this paper we discuss some data from this ongoing study relating specifically to the language use of Singapore's Indian community, with a focus on how they positioned themselves in the process of articulating their orientations to English norms.
Descriptors: Indians, Ownership, Official Languages, Norms, Foreign Countries, Mandarin Chinese, Native Speakers, Immigrants, Second Language Learning, Acculturation, English (Second Language), Language of Instruction, Age, Ethnicity, Language Variation, Dravidian Languages, Indonesian Languages
Blackwell Publishing. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8599; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/jnl_default.asp
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore