The sociolinguistic awareness of tertiary level students in Hong Kong and Mainland China

William Thomas LITTLEWOOD, Danli LI

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Abstract

This paper explores the sociolinguistic awareness in English of tertiary level students in Hong Kong and Wuhan (Mainland China). The language data consisted of specific instances when a native speaker presenter made changes, in the course of oral delivery, to the written text of a conference paper that she had prepared in advance. Matched pairs of sentences/utterances were selected and in each pair the written version was placed side by side with the spoken version. When native speakers were asked to judge which version had been written and which had been spoken, their responses indicated that the changes were based on sociolinguistic intuitions shared by other native speakers. For the present study, the same matched pairs of utterances were given to tertiary-level students of English in Hong Kong and Wuhan. The resulting data are used to explore the extent to which students have access to the same sociolinguistic intuitions as native speakers. Comparisons are also made between the responses of students in the two settings as well as between the responses of English and non-English majors in Wuhan. Copyright © 2006 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-109
JournalLanguage Awareness
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

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sociolinguistics
Hong Kong
China
intuition
student
Mainland China
Native Speaker
language
Group
Utterance
Intuition

Citation

Littlewood, W., & Li, D. (2006). The sociolinguistic awareness of tertiary level students in Hong Kong and Mainland China. Language Awareness, 15(2), 97-109.

Keywords

  • Sociolinguistic awareness
  • Sociolinguistic competence
  • Stylistic variation
  • Spoken and written English