Reflection

Nicole:

I found this project to be an interesting experience and it was quite fun to do. Some of the replies we got from the interviews surprised me as they were quite different from what I expected. There is definitely a wide range of opinions regarding the questions we asked and each answer differed quite a bit so it was quite exciting to see what each interviewee thought and what their opinions on the subject was. It was also extremely fun to explore different parts of Sydney to get the required data. However, sometimes I found it hard to find someone who wasn’t busy to interview. Another downside for this project was that I found it hard to meet up with group members in order to conduct the interviews as everyone had different schedules and therefore made it hard to find times to meet up, although social media (i.e. Facebook, Messenger and Skype) definitely helped, especially with collaborating all the data that various groups collected. Actually knowing my members before this group was formed also helped override any awkwardness I would’ve otherwise felt with contacting them repeatedly to collaborate. Overall, I found this project to be an educative and fun assignment and I definitely learned things I wouldn’t otherwise have known if I hadn’t done this project.

Amy:

This project provided an opportunity for me to experience how to not only gather data through interviews, but also record and present them in a variety of ways, such as blog posts, pictures, videos and audio clips. Our chosen domain of cafes allowed us to explore a number of locations across Sydney, each of which had a different demographic of languages spoken. It was fascinating to see how answers varied across each area, based on the interviewees’ ethnicity and language background. All of my interviewees were people I already knew and whilst I had an understanding of their background beforehand, it was interesting to note that many of their answers to certain questions went against my expectations, such as their decision to use their native language in some situations but not others. However, with this project stretching over a period of time, it became challenging to arrange times to meet up and conduct interviews. Overall, this project was an eye-opening and enjoyable experience.

Shajara:

For me, this project was an interesting first step in learning how to record and collate field work in a research setting. It was clear to see the advantages in our domain, being that we were not restricted to a specific demographic of people based on the ethnicity, religion, etc. Furthermore, our group had a prior established dynamic which made it easier to recognise our strengths and weaknesses. From the interviews the groups conducted, we received a wide range of responses about how they acted within the domain of the cafe. Each response revealed a deeper context of the individual being interviewed. In contrast, actually finding the time to conduct interviews proved to be the most difficult challenge to overcome. Since our group members had conflicting schedules, finding the time to meet up to do the interviews was one major downfall. This resulted in not as many areas of Sydney being explored. In general, this project did give us the ability to explore several parts of Sydney in depth and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Emily:

This was the first project where I’ve had to actually go out “into the field” to gather data, which was a daunting but exciting experience. I think the most rewarding part of this project, for me, were the actual responses. Many of us (myself included) went into these interviews with a vague expectation that the interview responses would skew a certain way or follow a general pattern, but we ended up finding that they were as varied as the people we spoke to, as were their motivations for using different languages in different contexts. Possibly the most challenging part of the whole experience was actually approaching people for interviews – it’s one thing to talk to customers as working staff, as you have the safety net of your role and context to fall back on, but it’s another thing entirely to approach complete strangers out of nowhere and hope they’ll go along with an interview. Despite that, I had a great time and I’ve learnt a great deal from this project.

Shanella:

I definitely went into this project with more enthusiasm than I have for previous group work. It is always interesting to find out about other people’s opinions of everyday things that you normally wouldn’t think about. Thankfully, due to my experience at work, interviewing people and engaging them to be interviewed was not too difficult and I had fun doing them. All of the people we interviewed were very helpful and cooperative, which made the whole experience more enjoyable. The results that were yielded were also intriguing. I say that because we all went into our interviews having discussed most of the questions amongst ourselves and we all had a very similar view as a group. It was intriguing to see the simultaneous diversity and similarity other individuals had with our opinions. If anything, the main issue I had for this assignment was our inability as a group to meet up regularly due to our conflicting schedules. We did get around it with group chats and Skype, however I believe the only reason that it worked as well as it did was because we were already so familiar with one another and we did not have any communication issues. Overall, it was an enjoyable and engaging project and I feel like I’ve learnt a great deal about language use in the society around me.

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