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University of Hong Kong
Taking its cue from the view of communicative practices as constitutive of the culture of everyday life, this fieldwork-based course has as a focus the speakers and cultures involved in language and communication. It addresses not only the theories involved but just as importantly the methods for intellectual investigation. Designed as a capstone course for the Language and Communication programme, the overarching goal of the course is to have students (a) bring together the theoretical knowledge and methodological skills acquired in this and previous courses in this (and other) programmes, (b) with a focus on the local and contemporary in multilingual, globalised contexts, and (c) with an emphasis on issues of linguistic and cultural diversity and the responsibility that each individual has to make informed and significant contributions to society, for sustainability and the advancement of the human condition. Using UNESCO's International Mother Language Day and the website linguisticminorities.hk as the focus and inspiration, the course assignment involves investigative fieldwork in linguistic minority communities in Hong Kong, which could be traditional minorities such as the Tanka boat-dwellers and the Hakka and Weitou communities in the New Territories, other Chinese groups like the Hokkiens, South Asian communities like the Nepalis, Bangladehis and Pakistanis, and more recent groups such as Filipinos and Africans. Such activities aim to cultivate an understanding of the complexities of contemporary social and political issues of language and communication in the context of globalisation – such as the positioning of languages of global significance and the fine balance struck with other local languages for sustainability in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia – which allows for intelligent, significant and responsible contributions to society.
Project website (group) 30%
In-class presentation (group) 20%
LinguisticMinorities.HK contribution (individual) 10%
Final paper (individual) 30%
Critical reflection (individual) 10%
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