Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Putonghua, the official Chinese language of mainland China, has become an intriguing topic for language researchersand teachers in Hong Kong. This study involved 275 Form VI (Grade 12) students in Hong Kong. The twin researchquestions are to investigate the subjects’ general attitudes toward the use of Putonghua in Hong Kong contexts aswell as the learning of the language. The research is qualitative in nature and discusses the data through statistical analysis.The major findings are: (1) on the whole the subjects are instrumentally motivated to learn Putonghua; (2) subjects’learning motivation is related to their political and cultural identity; (3) subjects still give more preference to English overPutonghua; (4) currently it is premature to greatly expand the use of Putonghua in education and other social domainssuch as government affairs. Based on these findings, the paper poses critical comments on Pierson’s study (1991,1998). It seems clear that the spread of Putonghua in Hong Kong lacks a social and psychological support currently. Thespread can occur only on a logical and incremental basis in tandem with a titanic effort to produce qualified, competentlocal teachers in order to teach this target language.


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