Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Language planning and Policy Language Policies for Hong Kong Schools since 1997 08-04-2013 Prepared by: Wissam Ali Askar & R. A. Hong Kong
Language Policies for Hong Kong Schools since 1997
Wissam Ali Askar & R. A.
Cantonese is spoken by approximately (97%) of the population. Since 1960, Cantonese has formed a part of distinctive Hong Kong culture.
Different forms of lexis and grammar
Putonghua had a low status in Hong Kong for many years before the preparation for the handover began in 1980.
In 1950, the government permitted the establishment of schools using Chinese as the medium of instruction (CMI) to serve for the burgeoning population, while maintaining a large proportion of English-medium (EMI) schools.
The purpose is to identify linguistic priorities of the three language policy and specifically in respect of the medium of instruction (MoI) for secondary schools.
In 1997, the Education Department issued the “Medium of instruction Guidance for secondary schools“.
Policy objectives and means of the Guidance:
1. To enable students to learn effectively, to be biliterate and trilingual.
Policy means Cantonese, English and Putonghua are all featured in the secondary 1-3 curriculum, either as a MoI or as a subject.
2. To commit to promoting mother tongue teaching.
Policy means 1.The majority (75%) of secondary schools must teach all academic subjects from secondary 1-3 in Chinese
2. Limited school based autonomy for secondary 4 and 5, complete school based autonomy for secondary 6 and 7.
3. To introduce measures under the MoI Guidance, to enable schools and parents to see for themselves the benefits of mother tongue teaching.
Policy means Official statistics compiled from Medium of Instruction Grouping Assessments, and the secondary school places allocation list.
4. To strengthen the teaching and learning of English in CMI schools.
Policy means Provision for additional English teachers, classes, teaching aids and library grants.
5. To monitor progress to see how best to achieve the ultimate objective of the language policy.
Policy means Triennial review and a three year longitudinal study on the first batch of cross-over students
The education commission commissioned a working group to review the implementation of the guidance and to give recommendations on change, if any, to the policy on MoI.
The substantive recommendations were:
Arguments on “what is best for our students” by the government and “what is best for our children” from the parents.
The recommendation of the report effectively made the following evaluation on the outcome of the guidance:
The substance of the Fine-tuning (2009) was modestly outlined in three sub-objectives:
1. To increase exposure to English for secondary 1 to secondary 3 students.
2. To allow greater school based autonomy on the choice of MoI.
3. To remove the differentiation between CMI and EMI schools
In short, the Fine-tuning is saying “given our conviction in the benefits of mother tongue education, we will encourage schools to teach more English, and to teach more subjects in English”.
Fung tam, A. C. (2011). Does the switch of medium of instruction facilitate the language learning of students? A case study of Hong Kong from teacher’s perspective. Language and Education. 25(5),398-417, doi: 10.1080/09500782.2011.573076
Wong, R. Y. and Kam, H. W.(2000). Language policies and language education. Singapore: Times Academic Press