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China English or Chinese English: Reviewing the China English movement through the Kachruvian lens

  • Li Yiyang


In the last 20 years, the term ‘China English’ has been advanced as the most appropriate name for the variety of English that better expresses Chinese sociocultural realities and distinguishes the variety from the pejoratively perceived ‘Chinese English’ or ‘Chinglish’ (Du & Jiang, 2003; Jiang & Du, 2003; Meilin & Xiaoqiong, 2006). The demarcation between ‘China’ and ‘Chinese’, it is argued (Wang, 1991; Li, 1993; He & Li, 2009), is necessary if English as used by Chinese speakers is to gain recognition as something other than ‘bad’ English. Although no consensus regarding the definition of China English has yet formed among those who argue for the adoption of ‘China English’, characteristics of the variety can be inferred and the characteristics are used to confirm that ‘China English’ as a legitimate variety does exist, that it exhibits features of linguistic creativity rather than interference, suggesting a nativized educated variety (Berns, 2011). However, in my view, arguments in favor of a new term, ‘China English’, have more to do with renaming and rebranding and less with providing new insights into the nature of this English.


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China English or Chinese English: Reviewing the China English movement through the Kachruvian lens

  • Li Yiyang


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