Language is usually defined as the prolonged joint partnership of a group of people that is so intensive that it gives rise to a comparison of common traditions. The group of people are classified into two i.e. monolingual i.e. .people who are familiar with just one language and only modify the content and reporting of their messsge.The second category refers to those of the bilingual language of which their characteristic is both the modification of their code plus that meaning and message. Identity on the other hand refers to an individual understanding and phrasing of their personal and group loyalties which may include the language that so far may provide an identity as to the origins and practices of that individual based on that particular language that he/she speaks. English language by definition may refer to the language used predominantly in West Germany that originated in kingdoms of England that spoke during the period that the German settlers came to Britain in the 5th, 6th and 7th centuries.
This language became widespread on Scotland, South-Eastern part and due to the immense influence that the Great Britain and United Kingdom had in terms of political, economic, cultural, colonial scientific and military superiority during the 18th and 19th centuries. It spread to the extent that today it has been the leading most spoken language worldwide. It is used in most cases as a second language or as an official language. The language to this effect is the official language in the Commonwealth and the European Union and going by the lingual statistics it is the third most spoken language in the world, Mandarin and Spanish taking first and second place respectively.
English dialects are those varieties of the English language that differ in grammar, pronunciation and vocubarly and also from the Standard English. They are also referred to as the sub-forms of the English “lingua” which convey a mutually general comprehensible message. There are three major categories of the linguistics, i.e.Northern America, Oceania, British Isles and Australia. The varieties of English may include: Basic English, English reform, E-prime, English coded manually, Airspeak and seaspeak, Special English, etc
The research that has been done by many linguistic experts has shown that both language and identity are not fixed and are both variable and dynamic. The basis of identity is from the individual perception and that changes the community practices and behaviours based on these individual perceptions. In addition, in terms of ethnic identification, language has not been perceived as a necessary tool to classify in a particular grouping but that grouping may ascribe to a particular language. The different varieties of English serves to clear cut our identity in the sense that it gives us our personal identity being how we would want others to view us as opposed to how we view ourselves. If the speaker is not able to construct his own identity and of which he wants the outside world to view him/her, then the receiver may be forced to form his own opinion about the speaker that may be contrary to what the speaker may have intended.
A particular example would be the variety of English Seaspeak and Airspeak whereby this is a coded and restricted language for international coherence in designated areas. If for example that language would be used to communicate to the common man they may not understand the intended message and even may view the particular speaker as a retard .Similarily, if you would use the common language in this designated areas, you would be seemed as an outsider and therefore as an intruder and therefore adequate counter-measures are taken since this areas may critical security areas. Another example would be the deaf sign language, normally the English coded manually, whereby as part of the vocabulary it has developed a system of hand signs since targeted audience have hearing impairment as a disability and therefore this language is vital to their communication.
The use of this language and the response by the hearer may form an identity that both or either has some form of disability being hearing impairement.There are countries where there is a predominant variety of English ,e.g.in Scotland there is the Scotland English which is distinct from the American English language and therefore having both English speakers one may be able to distinguish due to their distinct dialect and pronunciation of words and therefore one is able to know to have an opinion where each of the speakers origin. Studies have also been done to find the correlation of certain pronunciation of various varieties of English and social classing. a drop in the letter ‘h’ in words like ‘heart’ provided basis for concluding that they are from a lower social class than and those who do not omit are regarded as those of an upper socialclass.The research was undertaken in urban England in the 1990s.
Standard varieties of English refers to the those that are preferred and championed for by social institutions,e.g. the media learning institutions and Para-legal establishments and are regarded to be more superior than the rest of the existing varieties, being the correct version of the spoken and written English language. These standards are agreed upon by the society and are deemed as correct by the predominant speakers of the language. It is normally used as a gauge in reference of English language standardization. This is the characteristic in a monolingual society. Non-standard users of English may refer to the classification of individuals that have English as their second language and have been forced to learn the English language from the standard form. However there is a setback in that their English has mother influence from the first language and therefore it is not as smooth and as clean as would be the requirement of the generally accepted English standards. This normally happens in the category of people who are bilingual.
Attitude towards the English language focuses on the native user of the language view of the above stated English varieties, have shown that the Standard English varieties rank high on the chart of academic excellence and qualification of the particular user that uses this type. Non-standard speakers have measured well in terms of social appeal, however, the attitudes by the non-native speakers have matched towards the standards of English, harmonizing the differences and thus coming up with a generally accepted form of language. In studies done in Japan, by a group of college going Japanese learners with six to seven English varieties, the results showed that the learners differentiated between varieties of speech within a one language of which they were not native speakers and held compounded attitudes towards the standard as opposed to non-standard and native as opposed to non-native.
The learners then held highly standards of English plus the non-standard of English of the original circle highly than the outreached circle. They also tagged some virtues to the study e.g. prestige whereby a lot was awarded to the Japanese speaker with a heavy accent of English and those in the non-standard English variety in the U.S and also in the United Kingdom and have worked their way up to mastering the language up to the generally accepted standards of English than those who are in the mono-lingual society in the inner circle who have had English as their first language and continue to use it as a of communication.
It is from the above discussion that we tend to come up with a harmonizing theory of the ideas discussed .In my point of view I tend to see that both attitude and identity are mutually dependent on one another and it may depend on which angle one lay decide to view. From the above discussion being a case example, the students being a microcosm of society representing the general views of the whole society of this particular topic we see that society deems those who have practiced the English language having mastered it despite the fact that it wasn’t their first language are viewed as conquerors and well endowed in academic excellence and qualification plus skill as opposed to those of whom the language is their first language and deemed that they have had enough practice whether involuntary or voluntarily geared towards either academic and social status excellence or not.
This in addition tends the society to treat this people in a different way earning respect and in this they congregate as individuals and form a community that is governed by different norms and rules. All in all, despite our differences in language it should not be used as a reason/benchmark to discriminate against one another but rather it should be used to be a source of togetherness as long as there is smooth communication, despite varieties used.