Conflicts and Accommodation in Code-switching in Hong Kong Science Classrooms

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

The prestigious status of English in Hong Kong is still strong ten years after the handover. Its symbolic domination is reflected in various medium of instruction policies. Recently, a few self-financed tertiary institutions are also adopting English as the medium of instruction. Many students majoring in science and technology in these institutions usually have very limited English capital. The use of code switching in these classrooms becomes both inevitable and necessary. This study examines the use of code switching in two science classrooms in a tertiary institution in Hong Kong. The two primary aims of this study are: to explore the nature of classroom talk, focussing specifically on how teachers use more than one language to talk; and secondly to investigate the conflict and accommodation in the use of languages in science classrooms. This qualitative study utilised in-class observations, field notes and video recordings. Additionally, an individual post-observation interview with each of the teachers was conducted. The study has found that in order to arouse students’ interest, teachers often choose to switch between English and Cantonese in classrooms. Many participants have expressed the fear of being caught using Cantonese in class, the teachers commonly choose to switch codes to translate the monolingual text, to enhance solidarity and to catch up with the teaching plan.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event5th annual Lancaster Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 20103 Jul 2010

Conference

Conference5th annual Lancaster Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLancaster
Period1/07/103/07/10

User-Defined Keywords

  • code switching
  • conflict
  • accommodation theory
  • science classroom
  • Hong Kong

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