Whose English Is It Anyway? – The Immigrant Experience
– my notes for the panel discussion at Waterstones Cheltenham, Aug 13th 2016. With novelist and writer Susmita Bhattacharya and chaired by Zeba Talkhani.
The title brings to mind
– “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” – comedy, improvisation
– “Mind Your Language”, the TV comedy show about immigrants to the UK
– question of authenticity
Fluent in English but not considered a “native” speaker.
I grew up in Malaysia speaking English as my first language. It’s not that common. Quite specific to the era whereby my parents lived during the time the British were still in power in Malaysia. They aspired to be be part of the British education system. They were, I think one of the first waves of teachers who trained in the UK. This specific history and relationship to the EMPIRE. The status of English language and the…
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