Singlish and the Singaporean: Cross-Cultural Encounter and Othering

  • Peidong Yang
Part of the Anthropological Studies of Education book series (ASE)


This chapter looks at the PRC scholars’ cross-cultural experiences on a Singaporean university campus by focusing on their encounters with Singlish and the figure of the Singaporean student. Singlish, the creolized informal local lingua franca, is experienced as an obstacle by many Chinese students when it comes to cross-cultural communication and engagement. The scholars’ ways of negotiating with it range from partial adaptation to resistance or symbolic struggle that rests on a micro cultural politics of language. Meanwhile, some PRC scholars also develop certain judgmental stereotypes about their Singaporean peers on campus based on their biased observations of the latter. Such stereotyping stems not only from the failure of the local host and PRC scholars to engage each other meaningfully, but owes also to the differences between their respective cultural backgrounds and educational subjectivities.


Chinese international students Interculturality Cross-cultural encounter Adjustment Singlish Stereotyping 


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peidong Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Nanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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