Will the new fine-tuning medium-of-instruction policy alleviate the threats of dominance of English-medium instruction in Hong Kong?

Anita Y K POON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Medium of instruction (MOI) is a highly controversial and thorny educational issue in Hong Kong. Despite the Hong Kong government's strenuous efforts to promote Chinese-medium instruction since 1984, social and community pressure for English-medium instruction (EMI) has been immense and continues to increase. However, the dominance of English as MOI has raised various educational, linguistic, and socioeconomic issues such as rote learning, motivation, declining language standards, and restricted social mobility. Against this background, this article examines the potential of the recently introduced fine-tuning of MOI policy in addressing such concerns and ensuring the benefits of EMI. The article draws on language-planning theories and various concepts of bilingual education for framing the argument and relies on government statistics, empirical studies, and newspaper and magazine articles as sources of data. It is concluded that a policy approach is not sufficient to treat language problems, and that MOI should be planned holistically together with language teaching in the entire school curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-51
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Issues in Language Planning
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • English dominance
  • English-medium instruction
  • Hong Kong
  • language planning
  • language policy
  • medium of instruction

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