Problems in writing for scholarly publication in English : The case of Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-264
Journal / PublicationJournal of Second Language Writing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1999


Through in-depth interviews, this paper identifies a range of problems which confront Hong Kong Chinese scholars in writing for publication in English and which they feel put them at a disadvantage vis-à-vis native speakers of that language. These problems are as follows: they have less facility of expression; it takes them longer to write; they have a less rich vocabulary; they find it difficult to make claims for their research with the appropriate amount of force; their process of composition may be influenced by their L1; qualitative articles are more problematic than quantitative articles; they are restricted to a simple style; and the introductions and discussions to scholarly articles are particularly problematic parts. Given the reduction of emphasis on English in Hong Kong following the reversion to Chinese sovereignty, these problems are likely to increase. A number of recomendations are made to remediate the situation.