Phonological changes in Cantonese-English code-mixing for ESL learners in Hong Kong and their attitudes toward code-mixing

Tzi Dong NG, Hsueh Chu CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

The purposes of this study were (a) to identify how ESL learners make phonological changes in English words in a code-mixing context; and (b) to examine ESL learners’ attitudes toward Cantonese-accented English and code-mixing in the classroom setting. Two groups of learners with high proficiency (HP) and mid-level proficiency (MP) were recruited to participate in the research. A specially designed codemixed script, an English translated version, and a list of isolated English words served as the tasks for collecting phonological data. A questionnaire survey was then used to examine participants’ opinions on code-mixing and its effects on pronunciation learning. The results showed that HP and MP learners pronounced numerous words similarly in a Cantonese-accented manner; however, MP learners were less likely to switch back to the correct pronunciation when the context of code-mixing was changed to pure English or when given a list of isolated English words. The survey results found that MP learners tended to be slightly more positive toward Cantonese-accented English and the use of a mixed code in English as a medium of instruction classrooms. Nonetheless, the use of code-mixing was less preferred in English lessons for learners of both groups. More HP learners considered Cantonese-accented English as a symbol of identity as Hongkongers than MP learners. Copyright © 2016 AsiaTEFL.org.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-185
JournalThe Journal of AsiaTEFL
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Ng, T. D., & Chen, H. C. (2016). Phonological changes in Cantonese-English code-mixing for ESL learners in Hong Kong and their attitudes toward code-mixing. The Journal of AsiaTEFL, 13(3), 162-185.

Keywords

  • Pronunciation learning
  • Language attitude
  • Hong Kong English
  • Second language phonology

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