Project Details

Investigating the features of Chinese students’ written English from a World Englishes’ perspective

In the milieu where World Englishes (WE), composed of different varieties of English (native or non-native), are flourishing and gaining world-wide recognition, the variety of English used by Chinese speakers has received increasing attention by both local and international scholars (e.g. Du & Jiang, 2001; Hu, 2004; Kirkpatrick & Xu, 2002; He & Li, 2009; Xu, 2010). While many researchers agree that Chinese English (CE) is based on Standard English with Chinese-culture specific features at different linguistic levels (e.g. Li, 1993; He & Li, 2009), it is impossible for CE to be entirely free of L1 influence which may result in traditionally so-called linguistic errors. With the recognition of CE as a developing member of WE, a considerable amount of work remains to be done to pave the way for CE to gain its legitimacy, notably in codifying its features in written language. Given the paramount importance accorded to written language in education, it is essential to codify the recurrent features (deviant from standard use) in written language produced by advanced Chinese learners of English and make a distinction between innovative use and linguistic errors. This serves as the first step towards a comprehensive codification of CE. A thorough and systematic codification of the written language is a hallmark for a new variety and has a far-reaching impact on ELT pedagogies in China. Traditionally, codification of peculiar features of emerging varieties focuses on spoken language. This research uses written data and aims to investigate different English speakers’ understanding and acceptance of deviant features in essay writing produced by advanced Chinese English learners.

Commencement Date : 2012/3
Completion Date : 2013/3
Chief Investigator(s) : Dr MA, Qing 馬清 [LML]





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