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Mini-Lesson Challenge 1 Challenge 2 Rating Form
Avoiding Chinglish Chinese-speaking students often use “English with Chinese characteristics”, sometimes known as Chinglish. Some of these features are localized forms of English such as:

Hong Kong foot, instead of Athlete’s foot.

Others are examples of fossilized errors such as:

What may I help you? Instead of How may I help you?

While informal spoken English often emphasizes communicative competence rather than accuracy, such ‘Chinglish’ may convey a poor impression of the speaker on the listener. For written English, such usage is considered inappropriate, especially in a professional or academic context

These type of errors can be categorized into several types. Some of these types are listed in the following list.
  • Subject-Verb agreement
  • Collocation
  • Countability
  • Overuse of dummy subject
  • Overused expressions
  • Mistranslated vocabulary
  • Misuse of tense
  • Misuse of passive
  • Misuse of auxiliary verbs
  • Misuse of articles
Challenge 1 Read the letter of complaint under the table. Notice the words in bold. What type of errors do you think they are? Click and drag the items into the correct space in the table. When you have done this, click on the button in the third column to reveal the correct answer.

Dear Mr. Wong

I am writing to complain about my recent stay at your hotel, which is the worst trip I (1)had been on. The room was extremely hot and when I tried to (2)open the aircon, it didn’t work so I spent the whole weekend sweating

My wife also heard strange sounds during the night coming from the bathroom. (3)It was because she believed ghosts were in the room. My (4)wife suffer from (5)the anxiety even under usual conditions, so you can imagine this situation did not make for a pleasant weekend.

The final complaint concerns your (6)staffs. Out of the three that we met, the butler whom your hotel assigned to us was not very pleasant. His (7)outlook resembled that of a zombie, with open wounds on his face and hands. Both my wife and I felt compelled to have a complete (8)body check on our return home.

While we booked your hotel at a discount rate we still expect some kind of decent service. I appreciate that (9)every coin has two sides, and there must be reasonable explanations for these problems. Nevertheless, we suggest that these issues be addressed as soon as possible to prevent other guests being uncomfortable.

I can (10)reach at lam.poon@hotmail.com and (11)I am expect to receive your reply as soon as possible.


L.A.M Poon

Challenge 2
Dear Mr. Poon

Thank you for your letter regarding your recent stay

First of all, please accept my apologies for your bad experience and allow me to offer some explanations.

Regarding the air conditioning, I would like to explain that during this weekend the hotel was hosting a convention for children with ADHD, and many of them were (1) the computer at the time of your stay. This resulted in a power shortage, which affected the air-con electricity supply.

With respect to the strange sounds, we are experiencing problems with our water heating system. When guests take (2) , the pipes can emit a sound resembling a screaming child. I must admit that I when I first heard the sound it gave me (3) . Following your complaint, an engineering company (4) and the issue is being resolved.

Concerning out staffing situation, we attempt to employ as few staff as possible to ensure guests’ privacy. I (5) with you that our butler’s appearance can be startling. Unfortunately, the man who served you (6) from a severe skin condition. Our hotel adopts a policy of non-discrimination on the grounds of appearance, but in view of your recent observation, we may remind him to approach guests gradually, rather then suddenly appear.

Regarding our guest feedback, (7) of our guests respond positively. Nevertheless, we regard feedback as an opportunity to (8) and we continue to conduct (9) into how we can improve out hotel and guest experience.

We hope that you (10) come back again soon, and leave our hotel with a more favourable impression.

I.M. Wong
General Manager

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