A needle in the ocean

John Gideon PATKIN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Multilingual research strategies –a lingua franca for research in Hong Kong’s South Asian community Ethnic minorities comprise about 5% of Hong Kong’s 6,864,346 population. (2006 population by –census) Ethnic minorities include Caucasians, Japanese, Koreans, Indonesians, Filipinos, Thais, Indians, Nepalis and Pakistanis. Caucasians, Japanese and Koreans enjoy higher economic status while the Indonesian and Filipinio communities mostly comprise foreign domestic workers. The remaining group of Indian, Nepalis and Pakistanis or South Asians number 47,505. Earlier studies have shown some South Asians, Who enjoy the same rights as local Hong Kong Chinese, have faced difficulties in accessing public services like education, health care, housing and social services. Some equate this to discrimination. When given the choice between Hong Kong’s two official languages, English and Cantonese, most South Asians prefer the former. A doctoral study now underway looks at the role of an English language public broadcaster in meeting the information needs of Hong Kong’s South Asian community. It investigates whether English, the native language or a multilingual approach is needed to provide information about key government services. Due to the linguistic and cultural diversity of the communities, data collection using closed questions has been challenging. Bilingual questionnaires have been administered in areas where South Asians gather. A dedicated website hosting three bilingual surveys has been established.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventThe Languages of education: The Chinese context conference - The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 01 Oct 201031 Oct 2010


ConferenceThe Languages of education: The Chinese context conference
CityHong Kong


Patkin, J. (2010, October). A needle in the ocean. Paper presented at the Languages of education: The Chinese context conference, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.


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