An investigation of the attitudes of local Hong Kong non-native speaking English teachers towards spoken English as a lingua franca

King Wai LEUNG

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses

Abstract

The current study aimed at investigating the attitudes of local Hong Kong non-native speaking English teachers (NNETs) towards spoken English as a lingua franca. The results were expected to inform the evaluation of the appropriateness of the native English speakers' norm to be set as the current English teaching model. The current study drew on folk linguistics and utilized a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Factors impacting on attitudes like power, intelligibility, social conventions and context were examined with reference to the Hierarchy of Identity (HoI) model (Omoniyi, 2006). 43 local NNETs took part in the questionnaire study and 11 of them also participated in the semi-structured interview session. The key findings of this research were: there was a deep seated bias among the local NNETs preferring British English in terms of correctness, standardness, pleasantness and acceptability for international communication; the attitudes of the local NNETs towards different accents of English appeared to be changing dynamically with the change in the participants’ identity options. The impact of factors like power, intelligibility, social conventions and context on the participants’ attitudes also seemed to be varied with different identity options; and most of the participants agreed that any variety of English can serve well in international communication. In the context of Hong Kong, which has always been a city of international trade and finance, it can be expected that the government and general public will continue to strengthen the workforce’s capability to communicate internationally in English. A further stress for the importance of international communication will counterbalance the deep seated bias among local NNETs preferring British English and other native accents. Future research would include a longitudinal study looking at the impact of the longer term change in the local NNETs’ identity options and preferences on the local NNETs’ attitudes towards ELF and the local Hong Kong accent. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • English language -- Study and teaching -- Chinese speakers
  • English teachers -- China -- Hong Kong
  • Lingua francas -- China -- Hong Kong
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2015

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