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David Li: Multilingual Hong Kong: Languages, Literacies and Identities

Springer, Cham, 2016 xiv + 296 pp, Hb €124.99, ISBN 978-3-319-44193-1
  • Chura Bahadur Thapa
Book Review

Multilingual Hong Kong: Languages, Literacies and Identities is a synopsis of empirical studies that focus mostly on the learning of politically legitimized languages, in this case English and Chinese, and especially on the difficulties faced by L1 Cantonese learners of English and Putonghua. Li discusses the language policy of the government of Hong Kong from a contrastive linguistic perspective, and offers some alternatives to the implementation strategies of bi-literacy and tri-lingual language policy. He also provides insights on the difficulties with learning Chinese faced by students from alphabetical language backgrounds. Readers from other contexts with a limited understanding of variation within the Chinese language/s may also benefit from the book’s accounts of the linguistic differences between Cantonese and Putonghua, and typological differences between English and Chinese.

Originally from Nepal, I consider myself a “plurilingual” Hongkonger (p. ix), the kind of individual...

References

  1. Gao, X. (2008). You had to work hard ’cause you didn’t know whether you were going to wear shoes or straw sandals! Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 7, 169–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Thapa, C. B., & Adamson, B. (2017). Ethnicity, language-in-education policy and linguistic discrimination: Perspectives of Nepali students in Hong Kong. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01434632.2017.1389947.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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