A Brief Ethnography on Philippine English
Keywords:Philippines, ethnography, English, Tagalog, Taglish, culture, speech acts, interactional acts, code-switching
The Philippines is a nation with a rich culture and heritage that reflects the indigenous diversity of the islands. Its present identity and unique features are not whimsical. They are mainly the result of a combination of events throughout its history. Its linguistic diversity and cultural uniqueness— e.g., being the only Asian Christian country—are clear evidence of several colonial influences (Hechanova, 2012; Miller, 2014). Using an ethnographic approach, this paper examines English, Taglish, and pragmatic aspects in a suburb and a metropolitan area of the Philippines. This study reveals that socioeconomic status, educational attainment and background go hand in hand with the level of exposure and usage of the English language. It also shows that the interactional and speech acts that nine participants demonstrated during the interviews, together with the artifacts found on the research sites, are reflections of their culture. The study also led to the conclusion that code-switching or Taglish is common among English-speaking Filipinos. Finally, more English proficiency was evidenced with people who had attended private schools more than those who attended public education.