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Investigating Hong Kong English

Globalization and Identity

Series:

Qi Zhang

The status of Hong Kong English has been an increasing concern among the local population. Despite prolific research into attitudes towards language variation within the field of sociolinguistics in general, very few studies have focused on the Hong Kong context. Previous research has demonstrated that native English speakers tend to evaluate Standard English varieties highly as far as status is concerned, while non-standard varieties are evaluated highly in terms of solidarity. There is still, however, a noticeable lack of information about the attitudes of Hong Kong Chinese people to different English varieties and, particularly, about their attitudes to the local non-standard variety.
This richly detailed case study sets out to investigate the attitudes of Hong Kong university students to eight varieties of English speech. It employs a range of direct and indirect techniques of attitude measurement in order to obtain in-depth information about the students’ perceptions. The book also discusses the important pedagogical implications of the choice of linguistic model in English language teaching, both within the Hong Kong population and among other Chinese communities.
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Chapter 5: Data Analysis: Attitudes towards Varieties of English

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CHAPTER 5

Data Analysis: Attitudes towards Varieties of English

In this chapter, I will examine the results generated from all three parts of the questionnaire. First, analyses of the data collected from the verbal-guise test are presented. Then, in order to investigate further the informants’ attitudes towards each variety of English, I shall discuss the results based on the informants’ perceptions of English varieties. The analyses were carried out using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) Version 14.0.

5.1 The general rating for each variety of English

In this section, the average ratings of the eight varieties by each of the informants are presented. A paired-sample t-test is used to assess the statistical significance of the difference between the mean ratings of any two varieties of English. Generally speaking, there are two types of t-test: an independent sample t-test is employed when there are two or more experimental conditions and different groups of informants are measured for each condition; a paired-sample t-test is employed when there are two or more experimental conditions but the same group of informants is measured under different conditions (Field 2009: 325). As the current study involved the same group of informants, a paired-sample t-test was thus used.

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