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The Impact of Social Media Applications on Ethnic Minority Students' Acculturation to the Hong Kong Society

LAI, Chun; CAI, Shiyu; TAI, Chungpui; YUNG, Wanshan / December 2021 / Issue No.10 /


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Multicultural students in Hong Kong do not only face great challenges related to their integration into the society, but also struggle with enhancing educational mobility between generations. These appear to have posed negative impacts on their learning of the Chinese language, especially their confidence in acculturation into the host society. Social media is in fact an effective tool when learning a second language as it provides an easily-accessible platform for the learners to practise and apply the learned language such as vocabulary and sentence patterns into a communicative context. In addition, using social media appropriately can help the students better understand the embedded social norms, cultural values, and the language behaviours of the society. This study aims to understand to what extent the multicultural students’ use of social media affects their acculturation into the Hong Kong society. Survey and semi-structured interviews are adopted as the main research tools. The participating students were in Secondary 3 to 6 from various secondary schools in Hong Kong. The results show that social media helps ethnic minority students increase their cultural capital and social capital, equipping the students with the communicative language of the society, up-to-date information of the society, and a network where they can communicate with the local residents. All these are highly important for them to integrate into the community.


social media ethnic minority students acculturation social capital cultural capital


International Journal of Chinese Language Education; Dec 2021; Issue No. 10; p.45 - 66


Department of Chinese Language Studies, The Education University of Hong Kong
Chinese Language Program, Columbia University
Chung Hwa Book Co. (H.K.) Ltd.




2520-7733 (Print); 2521-4241 (Online)

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