Identity and Investment in Learning English and Chinese: An Ethnographic Inquiry of Two Nepali Students in Hong Kong
This chapter reports on an ethnographic study of two Nepali students’ identity and investment in learning English and Chinese (Cantonese) in Hong Kong. This ethnographic inquiry lasted for more than 2 years during which I had interactions with the participating students and observed their language practices and social interactions at various locations (i.e., at school, home, friendship networks, and social media). Analysis of the data reveals that self-other identification processes play important roles in learners’ investments in learning a particular dominant or non-dominant language. In light of these findings, this chapter concludes with a call to researchers to undertake further research on the social identification processes and investment in learning languages. This chapter also calls on educators to understand the identities of the linguistic minority students in order to respond to their needs so that they could invest meaningfully in learning institutionally legitimized languages.
I would like to thank Dr. Xuesong (Andy) Gao for his insightful feedback on the first draft of this chapter. I would also like to thank all anonymous reviewers for their comments on the draft.
- Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities (6th ed.). London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
- Census and Statistics Department [CSD]. (2011). Population and usual language. http://www.census2011.gov.hk/en/main-table.html. Accessed on 20 Nov 2016.
- Connelly, J., Gube, J., & Thapa, C. B. (2013). Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities: An evaluation of educational support measures. In Brown, E. L. & Krasteva. A. (Eds.), Migrants and refugees: Equitable education for displaced populations (pp.191–214). Information Age Publishing: Charlotte.Google Scholar
- Education Bureau [EDB]. (2014). Education for non-Chinese speaking children. Hong Kong: Education Bureau. Accessed on 30/07/2013 from: http://www.edb.gov.hk/index.aspx?nodeID=4211&langno=1
- Education Commission. (2005). In Education Commission (Ed.), Report of review of medium of instruction for secondary schools and secondary school places allocation. Hong Kong.Google Scholar
- Equal Opportunities Commission [EOC]. (2011). Education for all – Report on the Working Group on Education for Ethnic Minorities. Hong Kong. Retrieved from http://www.eoc.org.hk/EOC/Upload/UserFiles/File/EducationReportE.pdf
- Gardner, R. C., & Tremblay, P. F. (1994). On motivation, research agendas and theoretical frameworks. The Modern Language Journal, 78(3), 359–368.Google Scholar
- Government of Hong Kong [HK Govt.]. (2014). The 2014 policy address: Support the needy, let youth flourish, unleash Hong Kong’s potential. Hong Kong: Government Printer.Google Scholar
- Norton, B. (2000). Identity and language learning: Gender, ethnicity and educational change. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.Google Scholar
- Tao, J., Shao, Q., & Gao, X. (2016). Ethics-related practices in internet-based applied linguistics research. Applied Linguistics Review. https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2016-2024.
- Wortham, S. (2006). Learning identity: The joint emergence of social identification and academic learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar