English in China

Kingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Wei Zhang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter sets out to provide an overview concerning the status, functions, and features of English in the People’s Republic of China today. It reviews relevant and recent studies on the official status of English in mainland China. The chapter presents a more detailed discussion of English in specific settings, including the domains of education, business, trade and tourism, and media and communications. The status of English in China’s education has primarily been that of a “foreign language.” However, education is the domain in China where English is used the most frequently, and by the largest number of people. The most salient features of “Chinese English” (or “China English”) are those linguistic features which are most distinctive of localized usage by Chinese users of the language, typically features identifiable at the levels of phonology, lexis, grammar, and pragmatics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Asian Englishes
EditorsKingsley Bolton, Werner Botha, Andy Kirkpatrick
Place of PublicationNew Jersey
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781118791790, 9781118791653
ISBN (Print)9781118791806
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Tourism
  • International trade
  • Contemporary china
  • English language
  • Phonology
  • China’s education
  • Grammar
  • Foreign language
  • Business
  • Pragmatics


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