What's in a name? Chinese learners and the practice of adopting 'English' names

Edwards, Rachel (2006) What's in a name? Chinese learners and the practice of adopting 'English' names. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 19 (1). pp. 90-103. ISSN 0790 8318

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07908310608668756


This paper examines the widespread practice of Chinese learners choosing (and sometimes refusing) to adopt English and Anglicised names. Data collected from questionnaires and interviews with both students and teachers are analysed in order to arrive at an understanding of why such a practice has arisen and continues to be perpetuated throughout institutions of higher education. Evidence will suggest that this practice cannot be divorced from Chinese learners' perceptions of themselves, their own culture, and their experience of learning English. It will highlight strategies of both compliance and resistance employed by students when they adopt and exchange names: strategies which say much about their attitudes to British culture and learning English in particular. At the same time, teachers' attitudes to students' names will be seen to highlight, at a basic level, some of the difficulties encountered when East meets West in the classroom. The paper concludes by suggesting that China's unique relationship to ELT is fundamental to Chinese learners adopting 'English' names.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Compliance, identity, names, power, resistance
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
T100 Chinese studies
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2015 11:14
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 19:23
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/19992

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