What fundamental issues – social, cultural, political, ideological – confront all communities when a global language is transplanted to a new locale, specifically a multilingual, Asian context? Focusing on the global language par excellence, English, with particular attention to the situation of Hong Kong, but also drawing on settings elsewhere in the region, such as Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, where English is even more established and localised, as well as mainland China, where the presence of English is burgeoning, this course has three main thrusts: What fundamental issues – social, cultural, political, ideological – confront all communities when a global language is transplanted to a new locale, specifically a multilingual, Asian context? Focusing on the global language par excellence, English, with particular attention to the situation of Hong Kong, but also drawing on settings elsewhere in the region, such as Singapore, India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, where English is even more established and localised, as well as mainland China, where the presence of English is burgeoning, this course has three main thrusts:

  1. the social and linguistic consequences for the positioning of English when it encounters other languages, such as Cantonese, including the spread of multilingualism, the emergence of code switching/mixing practices, the evolution of New Englishes, and the occurrence of language shift;
  2. the challenges that these pose for the concepts of language norms and standards and the notion of the native speaker of English, and the implications that this has for issues of identity and the ownership of language; and
  3. the dilemmas faced in the management of such New Englishes and multilingual practices in language policy and education, the challenges encountered in the liberation of such codes in popular culture, including e-communication and pop music, as well as the commodification and commercialization of global languages.

Learning Outcomes


On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Recognize and discuss the important sociolinguistic issues involved in the appropriation of a global language such as English in contemporary local multilingual Asian contexts.
  2. Creatively apply sociolinguistic knowledge to language issues observed and identified, and define and illustrate the roles and values that English and other local languages have, in the local, everyday context of Hong Kong, and compare and contrast these to other Asian situations like Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, China, etc.
  3. Explain and analyze sociolinguistic phenomena and issues both to academic peers as well as to the wider non-linguistic, non-academic community, in an intelligent, interesting and accessible mode and manner.
  4. Appraise and respond to the views and presentations of others as found in published texts as well as in class.
  5. Identify and evaluate the sociolinguistic issues and challenges in the local context that are important for sustainability with a view to making intelligent, significant and responsible contributions to the community.

 

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Study Load


Activities

Number of hours

Lectures

24

Tutorials

8

Reading/Self-study

48

Fieldwork and data analysis

20

Assessment: Presentation (incl preparation)

10

Assessment: Website/blog (report writing)

20

Assessment: Learning reflection

2

Assessment: In-class quizzes

2

Total:

134

 

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Assessment


100% coursework

Assessment Tasks

Weighting

Website/blog presenting fieldwork

30

In-class presentation and question/answer/discussion session

15

Tutorial discussion

30

In-class quizzes and learning reflection

25

 

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Required Reading


Bacon-Shone, J., & Bolton, K. (2008). Bilingualism and multilingualism in the HKSAR: Language surveys and Hong Kong’s changing linguistic profile. In K. Bolton & H. Yang (Eds.), Language in society in Hong Kong (pp. 25-51). Hong Kong: Open University of Hong Kong Press.

Bolton, K. (2002). The sociolinguistics of Hong Kong and the space for Hong Kong English. In K. Bolton (Ed.), Hong Kong English: Autonomy and creativity (pp. 29-56). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Crystal, D. (2000). The prescriptive tradition. In P. Eschholtz, A. Rosa & V. Clark (Eds.), Language Awareness: Readings for college writers, 3rd ed. (pp. 116-121). Boston: Bedford/ St Martin’s.

Gupta, A.F. (2010). Revisiting Standard Singapore English. In L. Lim, A. Pakir & L. Wee (Eds.), English in Singapore: Modernity and management. (Asian Englishes Today.) Hong Kong University Press.

Jenkins, J. (2015). Global Englishes: A resource book for students (3rd ed. of World Englishes). Abingdon/ New York: Routledge. [Units A1, A3, A4, A5, B3, B6, B7, B8, C1, C7 and C8]

Kachru, B.B. (1985). The alchemy of English: The spread, functions and models of non-native Englishes. University of Illinois Press. [Chaps 1, 2]

Li, D.C.S. (2009). Towards “biliteracy and trilingualism” in Hong Kong (SAR): Problems, dilemma and stakeholders’ views. In L. Lim & E. Low (Eds.), Multilingual, globalizing Asia: Implications for policy and education (AILA Review 22) (pp. 72-84). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. 

Li, D.C.S. & Tse, E.C.Y. (2002). One day in the life of a purist. International Journal of Bilingualism 6(2): 147-203.

Lim, L. (2009). Beyond fear and loathing in SG: The real mother tongues and language policies in multilingual Singapore. In L. Lim & E. Low (Eds.), Multilingual, globalizing Asia: Implications for policy and education, AILA Review 22 (pp. 52-71). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing. 

Lim, L. (2013). Kaduva of privileged power, instrument of rural empowerment? The politics of English (and Sinhala and Tamil) in Sri Lanka. In L. Wee, R. Goh and L. Lim, eds. The Politics of English in Asia: Language Policy and Cultural Expression in South and Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific (pp. 61-80). (Studies in World Language Problems.) Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Lim, L. (2015). Coming of age, coming full circle: The (re)positioning of (Singapore) English and multilingualism in Singapore at 50. Asian Englishes 17(3): 261-270.

Lim, L. (2015). Catalysts for change: On the evolution of new contact varieties in the multilingual knowledge economy. Ms. The University of Hong Kong.

Lim, L. & Ansaldo, U. (2016). Languages in Contact. (Key Topics in Sociolinguistics.) Cambridge University Press. [Chap 7: Contact and globalisation]

Milroy, J. & Milroy, L. (1999). Authority in Language: Investigating Standard English, 3rd ed. (pp. 1-23). London/ NY: Routledge. [Chap 21: Prescriptivism and standardization.]

Wee, L. Goh, R. & Lim, L. (Eds.) (2013) The Politics of English in Asia: Language Policy and Cultural Expression in South and Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific. (Studies in World Language Problems.) Amsterdam: Benjamins. [Selected chapters]

 

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Last updated: 15 July 2016