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FASS Newsletter

18th English in South-East Asia Conference

From 16 till 17 November 2015, FASS organised the 18th English in South-East Asia conference. All sessions were held in the Chancellor Hall at UBD.

The keynote speakers and invited guests, after the opening ceremony

There were 63 papers by speakers from places such as Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, in addition to the papers persented by speakers from Brunei.

The audience during the opening ceremony

The keynote speakers were Professor David Deterding (UBD), Professor Adam Jaworski (Hong Kong University) and Professor Andy Kirkpatrick (Griffith University).

David Deterding's talk was entitled 'Intelligibility in SE Asian English'. He discussed the importance of good pronunciation in the region to avoid misunderstandings occurring, but he stressed that there is no need to immitate a speaker from Britain in order to be highly intelligible.

(Slides Available Here)

In his keynote presentation, Adam Jaworski talked about pride, profit and prejudice in the linguistic landscape of Hong Kong, particularly how mock Canotnese as well as Hong Kong English are used in tourism discourse.

Languages continue to function as traditional symbols of ethno-national identity, yet at the same time they are employed as commodified indexes of local places, people, practices and products. This leads to some interesting inovative uses of English and Cantonese in Hong Kong.

Andy Kirkpatrick's talk dealt with the role of English as a lingua franca in Southeast Asia, especially as it is promoted as the sole working language of ASEAN

He also talked about education in the region, including the threat to local languages from the adoption of English as a medium of instruction in primary school, and he discussed pedagogical policies that might be pursued in order to maintain indigenous minority languages.