English Name Transition from Taiwan to the United States: A Case Study of Taiwanese International Students

Article English OPEN
Yi-An Jason Chen (2016)
  • Publisher: Australian International Academic Centre PTY. LTD.
  • Journal: International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature (issn: 2200-3592, eissn: 2200-3452)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.4p.58
  • Subject: Taiwanese International Students, English Names, Ethnic Names, Identity, English Education, Acculturation | Philology. Linguistics | P1-1091 | English literature | PR1-9680

The way in which Taiwanese students use English names to construct their identities in a new sociocultural setting has received minimal scholarly attention. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 10 Taiwanese international students, I focused on how the use of ethnic names and English names is structured through social interaction and cultural context at an American university. The results suggest that the acquisition of an English name is not a personal choice, but an authoritative order that originates from private English education in Taiwan. Even though the choice of ethnic and English names in the United States is often constrained by linguistic factors, the use of English names by Taiwanese international students not only discloses their attitudes toward English name adoption, but also greatly influences their identity and acculturation.
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