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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2020, 3(6); doi: 10.25236/FER.2020.030618.

Cantonese-Speaking students’ Perceptions of teachers’ Local Accents: a Comparative Study of Mandarin and Hong Kong Accent


Yuxuan Mu

Corresponding Author:
Yuxuan Mu

Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, China


Currently, many China universities have employed English-Medium Instruction (EMI) to revel their international features in China. The study reported in this article examined Cantonese speakers’ attitude towards Mandarin English and Hong Kong English and investigated the social factors that influence the students’ judgement in an EMI university. By means of verbal guised match, 178 participants had different perceptions of Mandarin English and Hong Kong English based on genders, self-reported proficiency and familiarity with accents. After listening to the two accented varieties, a semi-structured interview was conducted to grab potential attitudes and factors. The results indicated that Cantonese speakers maintained more positive attitudes toward Mandarin English in terms of status and dynamism, while they preferred Hong Kong English in the field of intelligibility and comprehensibility. The article discussed those comparative attitudes with consideration of China’ economic and historical background, which might impact Cantonese speakers’ attitudes towards accented Englishes. Finally, the article concluded by discussing potential teaching models in EMI universities based on the research’s results.


Lingua franca, Language attitude, Accented english, English as medium instruction1, Introduction

Cite This Paper

Yuxuan Mu. Cantonese-Speaking students’ Perceptions of teachers’ Local Accents: a Comparative Study of Mandarin and Hong Kong Accent. Frontiers in Educational Research (2020) Vol. 3 Issue 6: 71-85. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2020.030618.


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