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ERIC Number: EJ882243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0889-4906
Business as Usual: The Use of English in the Professional World in Hong Kong
Evans, Stephen
English for Specific Purposes, v29 n3 p153-167 Jul 2010
This article examines the role of written and spoken English vis-a-vis written Chinese, Cantonese and Putonghua in the four key service industries that have driven Hong Kong's economy in the past decade. The study forms part of a long-standing and continuing investigation into the impact of Hong Kong's transition from British colony to Chinese Special Administrative Region on patterns of language choice and use in the professional workplace. This article presents findings from the most recent phase of the investigation, which involved a questionnaire survey of over 2000 professionals working at different levels and in a range of disciplines in the services sector. The results indicate that English continues to function as the unmarked medium of written professional communication, whereas Cantonese remains the usual language of oral communication. Despite the gradual diminution in the institutional role of English since the signing of the Joint Declaration in 1984, and the perception that English use has declined since 1997, the findings indicate that the importance of written and spoken English has increased during this period. The results also suggest that the frequency with which Hong Kong professionals need to communicate in English increases with rank and experience. (Contains 6 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong