A mirror to reflect Hong Kong youths’ emotions
Putonghua, the official Chinese language of mainland China, has become an intriguing topic for language researchers and teachers in Hong Kong. This study involved 275 Form VI (Grade 12) students in Hong Kong. The twin research questions are to investigate the subjects’ general attitudes toward the use of Putonghua in Hong Kong contexts as well as the learning of the language. The research is qualitative in nature and discusses the data through statistical analysis. The major findings are: (1) on the whole the subjects are instrumentally motivated to learn Putonghua; (2) subjects’ learning motivation is related to their political and cultural identity; (3) subjects still give more preference to English over Putonghua; (4) currently it is premature to greatly expand the use of Putonghua in education and other social domains such as government affairs. Based on these findings, the paper poses critical comments on Pierson’s study (1991, 1998). It seems clear that the spread of Putonghua in Hong Kong lacks a social and psychological support currently. The spread can occur only on a logical and incremental basis in tandem with a titanic effort to produce qualified, competent local teachers in order to teach this target language.
Keywords: Putonghua, mother tongue, language attitudes, Hong Kong students, learning motivation, language preference
Published online: 26 June 2000
Cited by 4 other publications
Cavallaro, Francesco, Mark Fifer Seilhamer, Ho Yen Yee & Ng Bee Chin
Humphreys, Gillian & Mary Spratt
Tse, Shek-kam, Joseph Wai-ip Lam, Elizabeth Ka-yee Loh & Raymond Yu-hong Lam
Wang, Limei & Hans J. Ladegaard
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