“I just wanted to run away as soon as possible”: Hong Kong locals’ communication accommodation and Mainland Chinese students’ willingness to communicate

Xiaoyan Wu

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Mainland Chinese students (MCSs) represent the predominant non-local student group in Hong Kong and their cross-cultural adaptation has attracted research attention. However, most research was not specifically focused on their communication with Hong Kong locals and, was atheoretical. We take a language and social psychology approach by invoking Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) and Willingness to Communicate in a Second Language (L2 WTC) to study intergroup communication between MCSs and locals. Twenty-eight MCSs journalled their encounters with locals, including: a) a brief description of the encounter; b) the language(s) used for the interaction; c) their evaluations of the local, themselves and the encounter; and d) if given a free choice, their willingness to communicate with this local again. They journalled their positive and negative encounters for seven days, either consecutively or non-consecutively. A total of 204 positive encounters and 193 negative encounters were collected between April and August 2023. Preliminary coding revealed that common contexts for MCSs to interact with locals included dining at restaurants, shopping, taking a taxi or public transit, and having social interactions with local students and friends. As expected, they often assigned positive attributions to accommodative locals (e.g., warm, polite, kind and friendly) and negative evaluations to nonaccommodative locals (e.g., indifferent, rude, impatient and unfriendly). These evaluations were closely related to their willingness to speak to this local again. This study explored intergroup communication and how CAT and L2 WTC can work together to better account for such communication.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024
EventThe 18th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology - Talinn University, Talinn, Estonia
Duration: 12 Jun 202416 Jun 2024

Conference

ConferenceThe 18th International Conference on Language and Social Psychology
Abbreviated titleICLASP18
Country/TerritoryEstonia
CityTalinn
Period12/06/2416/06/24

Keywords

  • Mainland Chinese students
  • Hong Kong locals
  • intergroup communication
  • Communication Accommodation Theory
  • Willingness to Communicate in a Second Language

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