'I am not qualified to be a Honkongese because of my accented Cantonese': Mainland Chinese immigrant students in Hong Kong

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19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates the identity construction and language practice of a group of mainland Chinese immigrant students studying at a secondary school in Hong Kong, and explores the underlying reasons for, as well as the individual and group identities derived from, those language choices and practices. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with the immigrant students and through observations in the school context, which focused on their views and attitudes concerning Putonghua maintenance, Cantonese and English learning and their perceptions of language ideologies in the school context. The marginalised position of Putonghua and its non-use in and out of classrooms reflects the social distinctions or language hierarchies found in the local school context. To resist the marginalised practice in the school context, the immigrant students employ their cultural and linguistic resources to establish and maintain Putonghua-speaking social networks and to imagine a proficient multilingual identity within the broader social context. The findings suggest that immigrant students should raise their awareness of language ideologies in the school context and recognise existing contradictions and discontinuities. It is also suggested that language ideologies could be incorporated into teachers’ professional development. Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-529
JournalJournal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Citation

Gu, M. (M). (2011). 'I am not qualified to be a Honkongese because of my accented Cantonese': Mainland Chinese immigrant students in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 32(6), 515-529.

Keywords

  • Identity construction
  • Immigrants
  • Language ideologies

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