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Volume 14 Number 1, Spring 2017, Pages 1-210 PDF Download

Overseas Chinese Students' Perceptions of the Influence of English on their Language and Culture

    Fan (Gabriel) Fang, Lanxi Hu & Jennifer Jenkins

The English language today functions as a lingua franca with the largest number of learners and users of any language. As an international language, it has attracted much attention in terms of its impacts on other languages. As another key language with the largest number of native speakers, the Chinese language has also demonstrated a global status, with an increasing number of language learners and users. This paper investigates Chinese overseas students' perceptions of the influence of English on the Chinese language and culture. By adopting a series of qualitative interviews, this paper researches the attitudes of overseas Chinese students studying in the UK towards the influence of English on the Chinese language. In order to explore how the uses of English influence the Chinese language in the Chinese context, the paper investigates students' attitudes towards the Gaokao reform, the influence of English on Chinese language and culture, and the future use of English in China. It concludes that, although the Chinese language is developing quite rapidly with both L1 and L2 speakers, English represents an important channel for people's personal development, and English as a lingua franca will continue to be used for a range of purposes in many Chinese people's lives for some time to come.

Keywords: English as a lingua franca, Chinese language, Chinese culture, perception