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Language Policy

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 135–162 | Cite as

The Medium Dilemma for Hong Kong Secondary Schools

  • Shek Kam Tse
  • Mark Shum
  • Wing Wah Ki
  • Yiu Man Chan
Article

Abstract

The most debated issue in Hong Kong education is the choice of language as medium of instruction. Historically, however, this was not simply a matter of selecting the mode that would yield the highest level of academic attainment. As a British colony from 1842 Hong Kong’s education provision was based upon British precedents and models. As a result, English has long enjoyed a high social status in society, with many Hong Kong people perceiving English as a language of superiority, power and success. The resultant stigma that was attached to Chinese did not deter the prospering of Chinese. Since the formal political handover to China and the new status of Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong has grappled with the issue of the medium of instruction. This article reports on a study of a group of people centrally involved with the issue of medium of instruction in secondary schools, school administrators and teachers and discusses the results in the light of their consequences for language education planning.

Keywords

Cantonese medium of instruction Chinese language education English medium of instruction language policy and planning teacher and administrator attitudes 

Abbreviations

CM

Cantonese Medium

CMI

Cantonese Medium of Instruction

EM

English Medium

EMI

English Medium of Instruction

PRC

People’s Republic of China

HKSAR

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shek Kam Tse
    • 1
  • Mark Shum
    • 1
  • Wing Wah Ki
    • 1
  • Yiu Man Chan
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Advancement of Chinese Language Education and Research, Faculty of EducationUniversity of Hong KongHong KongChina

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