Singapore Colloquial English Case Study

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Singapore Colloquial English (SCE), also referred to as Singlish is a variety very distinct from Standard Singapore English (SSE) (Cavallaro and Ng 2014). Singlish is widely spoken in Singapore however many held the view that Singlish is an improper language and it is incomprehensible by foreigners. The diverse views and attitudes towards Singlish raise the question of the vitality of Singlish in Singapore. Language policy like the Speak good English movement campaign was implemented in an effort to eradicate Singlish and promote the use of Standard English. This study aims to uncover 1) the determining reason for the survival of Singlish and 2) how Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans view Singlish as a national identity. In this study, 52 local…show more content…
On the other hand, it is notable that a mean of 2.38 rating were given by foreign students agreeing that Singlish can best express solidarity. Some of them elaborated that they would speak English with the insertion of a few Singlish vocabulary to reduce the social gap and be more inclusive among their peers. Most of the respondents expressed that it was a dilemma to choose between food and Singlish. Some of them who chose Singlish as the best trait mentioned that Singlish is the only trait that is uniquely Singapore whereas similar food can be found in our neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and India. As compared to Singaporean students, there is a lower percentage of students who chose Singlish as a distinctive trait of Singapore, this is partly because some of them do not have a native-like command of Singlish. It was noted that most respondents who chose Singlish are from Malaysia. In Table 7 & 8, most Singaporean respondents vote for the uniqueness of Singlish as the reason for its survival while unity is chosen by non-Singaporean…show more content…
In general, Singlish is a variety valued by the students because they use it regularly and they enjoy using it. They do not see it as bad English as most of them are capable to code-switching according to the different situation (Tan and Tan 2008). Singlish has the ability to reduce social distance or establish solidarity. Singlish is not only highly regarded as covert prestige amongst Singaporean, it is also well accepted by the foreigners. A noticeable number of foreign students acknowledged that by speaking Singlish, they feel included as part of the crowd which in turns increase their sense of identity in a country away from their hometown. One possible limitation of this methodology was the small sample size (only 31 Singaporeans and 21 non-Singaporean participants) which might not fully reflect the distribution of the population. CONCLUSION It might be too early to predict the future of Singlish. No doubt, with the increase in the level of education within the population in Singapore, more people are able to switch effectively between Standard English and Singlish (Cavallaro and Ng 2009), this will address worries of not being able to acquire Standard English with the interference of Singlish input. In many ways, the survival of Singlish will be highly dependent on how Singaporeans and even foreigners view on the question of Singaporean identity. The vitality of Singlish will always

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