How do different speakers of English express apects of their identities through different writing practices?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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"Different speakers of English" seems to denote speakers of varieties of English. If British English is the baseline for the English language, then a few varieties are American English, Indian English, and Malaysian English. Varieties of a language are formed when the language is adopted by a culture that is geographically separate from the base language area (dialects are formed in geographic proximity). As a result of this formation process, aspects of the non-base language and culture become part of the language variety. As a result, the variety speaker reveals their identity through personal or cultural elements such as these few examples: slang, vocabulary, syntax, politeness markers, familiarity expressions, grammar.  

To give an illustration in particular from the Indian English variety, speakers of the variety might reveal their identity through cultural addresses of familiarity. When writing in English (as all educated Indians do because they are educated exclusively in English), Indians might reveal their identity, for instance, by addressing women known to be of their parents' generation or older as "Auntie" while addressing women of their own age as "sister." As this is an Indian cultural familiarity marker, writers thus reveal their identity.

Another example from Indian English is that, for instance, Hindu writers might express best wishes on Christian holidays or on Muslim holy days. This is a significant aspect of Indian culture as religious holidays for several religions are recognized as official national holidays. Thus writers reveal their identity by expressing good wishes on holidays that are not associated with their own religion. A related example is that, when speaking of death, writers might speak of the deceased person as walking on a journey down a new road, which reveals their identity through association with Hindu religious belief or metaphor.

While there are many more examples of identity expressions in the writing of English variety writers, these few give a foundational understanding of cultural expressions of identity.

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dftbap | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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There is home-rooted language and public language. It is especially important for an individual who has been raised with a significantly distinct home-rooted language to become proficient in public language for socio-economic movement.

Whole language, which includes all aspects of the reading and writing process is effected by one's formative experiences, the majority taking place within the realm of home-rooted language.

Once one becomes proficient in public language, their ability to freely express themselves in their home-rooted language through reading and writing also becomes more proficient, allowing the reader or writer to sincerely depict realistic aspects of their different experiences in a way that more individuals not familiar with that particular home-rooted language can understand.

 "Listening has something to do with imagination and is a similar receptive language process to reading achievement." ( Anderson, Hiebert, Scott, & Wilkinson)


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