Native English-speaking students in Hong Kong EFL classrooms: a case study

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The present study explores the learner stories of two Hong Kong English language students: a returnee student (a native speaker of English) and those of one of his local classmates (a native speaker of Cantonese). With the high level of migration from and to Hong Kong over the last 25 years, the number of children returning to Hong Kong from English-speaking countries has increased dramatically. Many of these returnee children enter the local Hong Kong education system and study English as a foreign language alongside Cantonese-speaking students. Through biographical interviews, this study investigates the complexities of the Hong Kong EFL classroom contexts and the implications on bilingual identity formation. The interview data provide insight on the negotiation of and limitations on bilingual identity formation in educational settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-32
Number of pages15
JournalInnovation in Language Learning and Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilingual identity
  • Hong Kong
  • Native–non-native learner interaction
  • Returnee students
  • Second language education


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