Communication Studies Analysis

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In the reflective piece Diary of an Insecure Girl, the persona’s attitudes towards language are explored through her use of Trinidadian Creole and Standard English. The persona code switches when speaking to a cashier in a school cafeteria, switching to Standard English to fit in with the school environment. However, she feels that she cannot be her true self as speaking in Creole is looked down upon. This shows how attitudes towards language can affect a person’s sense of belonging. The communicative behaviors used by the persona, such as eye rolls and body language, also reveal her feelings of insecurity and lack of confidence. These elements contribute to the effectiveness of the analysis of the reflective piece.

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I have chosen to analyze my reflective piece, “Diary of an Insecure Girl” in terms of the attitudes to language and communicative behaviors which are found therein. Attitudes to Language refer to the manner in which people use and view the varieties of English spoken in the Caribbean. A consideration adopted in looking at attitudes is the question as to whether Creole English is fitting and appropriate for certain uses. Code switching or adopting the variety of English spoken also indicate specific attitudes to language.

In the short story, the persona code switches when she was talking to the cashier in the cafeteria. She began by speaking the Trinidadian Creole when she said “Mornin leh meh get ah cake an ah Cokes please. ” The cashier was in disbelief and found that way of speaking was inappropriate for the school environment. The persona apologized and code switched by speaking Standard English, “Good morning Miss. May I please have a slice of cake and a bottle of Coca-Cola? However, the persona did not feel a sense of belonging in the school because speaking Creole, which is part of her identity, is looked down upon so she felt that she is not permitted to truly be herself. She expresses that the students are fake because of the American and European lifestyles they try to imitate through the way they speak which the persona refers to as “Yankee accent. ” Communicative behaviours refer to communicating impressions to others unconsciously and inevitably. They are used by speakers to emphasize their words and they can also be use to interpret how the speakers truly feel.

These are used throughout the short story for example when the persona said, “I roll my eyes in exasperation” she used movement to show the discontent she felt towards the way she looks. Another example of this was when the cashier said, “Excuse me?! ” she used vocalics to express her annoyance at the Creole spoken by the persona. Also when the persona says that she walks with her head hanging low, this movement shows her lack of confidence. Attitudes to language and communicative behaviours are but two of the elements that make for an effective analysis and have therefore greatly contributed to my portfolio.

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