Code-Mixing Among University Students in Hong Kong Within the School’s Context

Topics: Hong Kong, Scientific method, Chinese language Pages: 6 (1473 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Research Proposal

Project Title: Code-mixing among University students in Hong Kong within the school’s context




2.1Studies form the societal language pattern4
2.2Studies form the ubiquity of mixed code within school context4 2.2.1Notice or advertising within school context4
2.2.2Student informal conversation within school context5

3.2Project Plan6



Bilingual of Chinese and English is ubiquitous in Hong Kong and the multicultural setting of Hong Kong makes the different patterns of code-mixing occur in our language contact zone. Although EDB has banned mixed code in the education domain, that is teachers are encouraged to stick only to either Chinese or English, it is quite difficult to avoid both inside and outside the classroom. This paper presents why bilinguals mix two languages within one sentence and what triggers university students to mix their languages within one sentence when they speak within the school context. The phenomenons which two languages are found within one single sentence are called ‘code-mixing’. Besides, this paper also explains the difference between ‘code-mixing’ and ‘code-switching’. Apart from these, it also accounts for the reason why we can still find code-mixing easily everywhere within the university context no matter in conversation between students, advertisement on the notice board or even teaching while EDB has banned this. For the research methodology, I would like to use quantitative methods for the data collection of my research. I will collect the code-mixing behaviour of university students within school context by using secondary analysis and do the survey to see why they code-mix during the conversation.


1 Background

In this research, I would like to investigate what triggers bilingual university students code-mixed their languages within the school’s context. Let me first define my research topic. The term bilingual, refers to a person who has native proficiency in two languages. By the word ‘code-mixing’ as all cases where lexical items and grammatical features from two languages appear in one sentence (Muysken 2000). I have chosen the current university students in Hong Kong as a target group for the research. First, those students faced the political hand over from British to Chinese in 1997. Therefore, this historical factor may be one of the causes why they code-mix. Second, English is one of the most important languages for communication under globalization. Therefore, it is not a second or foreign language anymore and becomes one of the official languages nowadays in Hong Kong. Thus, Hong Kong is a bilingual community with English as a medium of instruction in university. Based on the reasons mentioned above, the practice of bilinguals mixing two languages has developed into their daily life. Despite the fact that mixed code has been banned by EDB for education domain, we can still find bilinguals mixing two languages easily within the school context. Code-mixing makes the conversation more effectively and can save time for translating some English expressions into Chinese. Therefore, the followings are some hypotheses (H) that I would like to investigate in this research:

H1 Code-mixing makes the conversation more effective

H2 Culture of Hong Kong would affect university students to use code-mixing

In order to do research H1, I will conduct a survey to find out the reason why code-mixing makes the conversation more effective and causing them to use it. For H2, I will need to look at the cultural and sociological values to prove that those values would affect university students to use code-mixing in Hong Kong.

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