The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 305–314 | Cite as

ESL University Students’ Perceptions of Their Global Identities in English as a Lingua Franca Communication: A Case Study at an International University in Hong Kong

  • Chit Cheung Matthew SungEmail author
Regular Article


This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative study which investigated a group of English as a second language (ESL) university students’ perceptions of their global identities in intercultural English as a lingua franca (ELF) communication at an international university in Hong Kong. Drawing on data collected via in-depth interviews and elicited journals, the paper found that these students shared a number of similarities in how they perceived and characterized their global identities in ELF contexts on campus. The analysis revealed that the expression of their global identities involved not only identification with the wider global community, but also acceptance of linguistic variation in the global use of English, display of communicative competence to ensure mutual understanding in lingua franca communication, and positive orientations toward hybrid linguistic practices in ELF settings. The findings reported in this paper will contribute to our understanding of the linguistic and cultural dimensions in the expression of global identities among ESL university students in ELF communication.


English as a lingua franca Global identity Intercultural communication University student Multilingual practices 


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong

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