Identity Change. Overseas Students Returning to Hong Kong

| January 7, 2014

Special Edition, September 2009,
Language, Culture and Identity in Asia.

September 2009 home | PDF version |

Identity Change: Overseas Students Returning to
Hong Kong

Ruth M.H. Wong
The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Dr. Ruth M. H. Wong is an assistant professor in the Department of English of the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She obtained her doctorate degree in education from University of Durham (UK) and her thesis entitled “Factors affecting motivation to learn: The perspective of the newly arrived Hong Kong students”. Her research interests include second language teaching and learning, sociolinguistics, task-based teaching and learning, language arts and learning motivation. Her publications include research articles in international journals, chapters in books, articles in professional magazines, textbooks and teaching resources for Hong Kong secondary schools.


National identity is a problematic concept to many ethnic Chinese people in Hong Kong. It had been more than 10 years since HK had been returned to China, how would those HK people, who had received overseas education, view their national identity on their return? This paper focuses on investigating how 3 international students from HK viewed their national identity. Particularly, I attempted to explore (1) how the 3 international students from HK perceived their own national identity before they left for an English-speaking country to further their studies; (2) whether these HK Chinese had changed their perceptions towards their own national identity when they were abroad; (3) whether their perceptions towards their national identity could be sustained after returning to Hong Kong.

Keywords: national identity; Chinese, overseas education

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Category: 2009