Code-switching refers to alternating between one or more languages or dialects. It also occurs within a particular language. We use different forms of expression depending on the person we are speaking to and where we are speaking to that person. There are different degrees of formality and informality. Would you say that the idea of code-switching exists in your first language? If so, would you consider yourself to be a "code switcher"?
Many times in English there is more than one way of pronouncing. Some people whose first language is English decide how they are going to speak by the context within which they are speaking. What they take into consideration is the degree of formality or informality in a particular circumstance. People don't make too much of a conscious decision about this. It more or less just happens. Some people don't often use informal or colloquial forms of pronunciation; however, they are prevalent within the English language amongst people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Understanding informal and colloquial pronunciation as compared to more careful, formal and "standard"? English pronunciation is part of obtaining a better understanding and awareness of the English language. As an English language learner, you need not feel obliged to speak using informal and colloquial pronunciation, but understanding this form of pronunciation better might help you to hear and comprehend English sounds better.
"We were alert to the gap separating the written word from the colloquial." I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (Chapter 29)
Copyright 2005 Steven David Bloomberg [email protected]
Categories: Speaking Out