Deteriorating standard? A brief look into the English standard in Hong Kong

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Abstract

There is a widely held belief that Hong Kong as a community is suffering from an ongoing decline in its standard of English. A very cursory search in the Internet directs readers to many articles lamenting the purportedly poor English standard of Hong Kong people. Appeals for Hong Kongers to improve their English are easy to find. These often originate out of concerns over the unwelcoming possibility of losing out to their close economic competitors such as Singaporeans and their compatriots from China, owing to the importance of English in international trade and communication. However, through reviewing publicly available data, this article reveals that the critique directed at Hong Kong people’s English standard does not always hold up against scrutiny. This article aims to demythologise the issue and points readers’ attention to the possibility of the emergence of a new standard which helps perform important sociolinguistic functions in Hong Kong society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-221
JournalAsian Englishes
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date27 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Aug 2015

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