Title

Being a ‘purist’ in Hong Kong : to use or not to use mixed code

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Changing English

Publication Date

9-1-2010

Volume

17

Issue

4

First Page

411

Last Page

419

Keywords

code‐switching; mixed code; ethno‐linguistics; English teaching; Hong Kong

Abstract

This paper reports on my first‐hand experiences of being a ‘purist’ in Hong Kong, during which time I was not allowed to use mixed code, a common discursive practice among Hongkongers in Hong Kong. I shall discuss the difficulties in using ‘pure’ English and ‘pure’ Chinese in my daily life, as well as exploring the problems I encountered when I used ‘pure’ English in teaching English to a small group of ESL students at a primary school in Hong Kong. I argue that mixed code is very much characteristic of everyday language use by most Hongkongers and represents an important marker of their ethno‐linguistic identity. In relation to language teaching, I suggest that mixed code may be usefully adopted in teaching English in Hong Kong, rather than being shunned at all costs.

DOI

10.1080/1358684X.2010.528875

Print ISSN

1358684X

E-ISSN

14693585

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010 The editors of Changing English.

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Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Sung, C. C. M. (2010). Being a ‘purist’ in Hong Kong: To use or not to use mixed code. Changing English, 17(4), 411-419. doi: 10.1080/1358684X.2010.528875