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Speech in Montreal

            Imagine that the place where you live is politically and socially torn. It is torn because the language you choose to communicate with is also used to project an image of social and political being. This could prove to be very problematic especially in a in a city as diverse as Montreal. Monica Heller speaks about this exact problem in her study called, Negotiations of Language Choice in Montreal . The study discusses the that the actual choice of language in a setting where there are many choices and many different people. She shows this by explaining about the interactions of people in a Montreal hospital. She uses the terms Anglophones to describe English speakers and Francophones to describe French speakers. The Study discussed describes the social and political effects being bilingual has in this city.
             Montreal is like any other city in the world. It has hospitals, shopping areas, political and social views, and a diverse population. The thing that makes it different is that the people have many choices when it comes to verbal communication. Some speak English and French and others may only speak one or the other. As one can see, this could cause difficult situations with communication between natives and visitors alike. Also, this can prove to be very interesting in-terms of how this type of communication works.
             Monica Heller uses the situation of a clerk at a hospital speaking to a patient on the phone to show an example of the problems that arise in a simple conversation. The clerk usually answers in English and French. From there, the patient on the other end has to make a language choice. Should they speak French or English? In this particular conversation the patient answers the clerk in French but then switches to English. Monica Heller refers to this verbal interaction as code switching. Heller basically explains code switching as a way of asking what language are we going to communicate in.

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