A Global Challenge: Overseas Immersion as an Effective Means to Enhancing English Proficiency?

Anita Y K Poon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Promoting the use of English as a lingua franca is doubtlessly a key process in globalisation. Hong Kong, being an international financial centre, took up the global challenge to enhance the linguistic competence of its human capital through education reform, and has invested billions of dollars in language enhancement in both school and university sectors since 2000. The present paper reports on an overseas English immersion programme offered by a university in Hong Kong, and explores whether immersion is an effective means to enhancing English proficiency. The paper first provides a backdrop for the Hong Kong government’s policy on overseas English immersion implemented in 2001–2002. Then the design, content, operation and assessment of the overseas English immersion programme in a teacher education programme are described. Finally, the effectiveness of overseas immersion is discussed in light of globalisation and English language teaching and learning.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReforming Learning and Teaching in Asia-Pacific Universities
Subtitle of host publicationInfluences of Globalised Processes in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia
EditorsChi-hung Clarence Ng, Robert Fox, Michiko Nakano
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9789811004315
ISBN (Print)9789811004292, 9789811091605
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2016

Publication series

NameEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects
ISSN (Print)1573-5397
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9791

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Development

User-Defined Keywords

  • Cultural Awareness
  • English Proficiency
  • English Teacher
  • Language Proficiency
  • Language Teaching


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