HKDSE - Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

EMB 'non' to French

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 January, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 January, 2007, 12:00am

A secondary school language teachers' association has warned of a 'very bleak' future for the teaching of foreign languages with the implementation of the new senior secondary curriculum in 2009.

Under government proposals, the teaching of foreign languages other than the core subjects of Chinese and English will be confined to 'other learning experiences'.

But Jean-Luc Rey, president of the Hong Kong French Teachers' Association, said languages needed to be included in the list of examinable electives under the new structure, otherwise they were in danger of vanishing from local schools.

Mr Rey said teachers had been pushing for language electives for two years, and had the backing of consulates, trade offices and academics, but the Education and Manpower Bureau had so far been unresponsive. 'They have given us no explanation, no justification, just 'no',' he said.

There was 'high motivation' among schools to retain French and other languages, but the curriculum left no space to accommodate this.

A spokeswoman for the EMB confirmed it had recently received queries from 'several schools' on the subject, and the bureau was in the process of dealing with them.

Schools would continue to have flexibility to offer languages under the new curriculum, and results of overseas exams such as the IGCSE would be included in students' Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education certificate, she said.