yesterday, i attended the third session of the applied linguistics major masters seminar series. frankly, i did not find any of the topics presented in yesterday’s session particularly interesting. i think it’s because i’m prejudice towards socio-functional linguistics rather that language teaching strategies, motivations, assessment etc.
what did raise an eyebrow is the tendency a lot of people have to consciously or unconsciously fake a british or american accent when persenting in english. i mean, i talk to my fellow scholars all the time and i know that they can speak perfectly normal malaysian english, but somehow, when they present papers, they just sound like redneck wannabes. and for most of them, if not all of them, i know that it is not on purpose, it just becomes like that when the stand in front of the crowd. it’s weird, it makes them sound like posers, but they really can’t help it.
the whole do just makes it seem as if there is something wrong with standard malaysian english (not to be misunderstood with manglish or ah-beng-english).
i think it’s because of too much tv.
i’m not a phonetician or a phonologist. i admit that my rhotic handicap does not exactly make me a professor henry higgins wannabe… (personally, i thought that eliza doolittle was far more interesting street talking than speaking the queen’s english… “Jist you wait, ‘enry ‘iggins!”… ek ek ek ek ek!!! )
but really, what i am curious about is why this accent phenomenon happens.
why do some malaysians fake a brit or yankee accent when they use english?
i have been invited to the media major masters seminar session next wednesday. maybe i’ll get answers there.