English in Hong Kong. Super highway or road to nowhere? Reflections on policy changes in language education of Hong Kong

Dan Huai LU*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

One major change in Hong Kong after 1997 was the replacement of English as the medium of instruction in many secondary schools. Employing the data on the distribution of the approved English-medium schools and taking into account relevant theoretical perspectives, this paper examines the wisdom and the feasibility of the policy change. The analysis shows that the change runs counter to the principle of bilingual education and does not conform to the wishes of a society for more competent bilinguals of Chinese and English. Code-mixing exists everywhere as a natural phenom enon of a bilingual society. No hard evidence has been found to blame mixed code as the cause in the declining English proficiency. Acknowl edging that any definitive conclusions might be premature, it would appear that this selection of English medium schools was not well planned and has eroded the principle of equal opportunity in bilingual education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-384
Number of pages15
JournalRELC Journal
Volume34
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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