Bilingual Education

Education officials have got it wrong

Education officials have got it wrong

Your correspondent's opinions are borne out by my experience of learning English as a fourth former of a secondary school with English as the medium of instruction. I have found that using Chinese (Cantonese) can facilitate and motivate my learning of English as my second language. 

Wednesday, 6 March, 2013, 2:51am 1 comment

English-only rule lacks flexibility

Wise use of Chinese can help process of teaching English

The arguments given by Dr Caldwell are echoed by my 24 years of English language teaching experiences in six different secondary schools in Hong Kong. They have been proved valid in teaching students of different streams, namely, Chinese medium of instruction and English medium of instruction.

27 Feb 2013 - 4:55am

Learning Curve: bilingual education for the IB diploma

Students at ISF Academy study Putonghua. Photo: Dickson Lee

Bilingual education loosely refers to programmes in which a native language and a second language are taught as subject matter and used as medium of instruction for academic subjects.

24 Feb 2013 - 4:09pm

How Chinese words can aid in English learning

New studies show Chinese can be used to teach English

The state of English in Hong Kong has improved steadily over the past decade, thanks to deliberate strategies. There is in progress, however, a more dynamic paradigm shift in language learning. It involves the targeted use of the mother tongue (in this case, Chinese) to increase the rate and motivation in learning the other language (English).

21 Feb 2013 - 5:46am 1 comment

Early steps to fluency

Ten-year-old Kaia Herbst, who goes by the Chinese name of Xu Kaili, shrugs it off lightly when asked if she finds learning Putonghua difficult. 'It's easier to write it than speak it,'' says the International Montessori School (IMS) student.

25 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

They're the brainy bunch

People raising children in Hong Kong recognise the importance of bilingualism. Local parents hope for their children to speak English fluently, and expatriate parents appreciate opportunities for their children to learn Chinese.

3 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Bilingual model opens students' minds

In the era of globalisation, a bilingual co-teaching model has been adopted to help students better understand world affairs. It also promotes the development of fluency and proficiency in the language of instruction, and in a second target language.

Several international schools in Hong Kong have adopted this model from early childhood education to secondary levels.

11 Jan 2010 - 12:00am

Now teaching in English must be done correctly

The government portrayed the relaxation of the 12-year-old mother-tongue teaching policy in secondary schools as fine-tuning. That was always wishful thinking. As expected, many schools have seized the opportunity to teach wholly or partly in English from September. The government is thus falling into step with parents' demands, with the support of schools and teachers.

16 Dec 2009 - 12:00am

A little knowledge of English is still essential in some subjects

The fine-tuning of the medium of instruction policy for schools is still meeting opposition.

19 Jun 2009 - 12:00am

Experts doubt change will help lift English standards

Lawmaker says government moving in wrong direction

Leading academics have rejected claims that adjustments to the medium of instruction policy will improve the standard of English among Hong Kong students.

9 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Tsuen Wan college has success in switch to bilingual teaching

AD&FD POHL Leung Sing Tak College, a Chinese-medium school in Tsuen Wan, has been progressively switching to bilingual teaching.

Students who were educated purely in Chinese after the introduction of the mother tongue policy in 1998 have only had a 20 per cent pass rate at the advanced-level English examination since 2001.

9 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Not enough teachers who are competent in English

I agree with Virginia Yue ('Parents must change attitudes', July 30).

It cannot be guaranteed that greater exposure to English will improve English language skills in Hong Kong.

I think the reason for this is that there are not nearly enough teachers who are competent in English who can effectively teach their lessons through this medium.

12 Aug 2008 - 12:00am

Back to basics

At a recent symposium on the policy on the medium of instruction for secondary schools, Secretary for Education Michael Suen Ming-yeung announced that there would be a 'fine-tuning' of the government's mother-tongue policy.

31 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

The other tongue

We increasingly hear concerns that English standards are dropping at Hong Kong schools. Yet, one insider argues that standards have not actually declined: rather, perceptions of a downtrend are being created by a wide range of factors.

3 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

Now we're talking

Never mind the occasional display of ego or the unnecessary use of jargon. Leave aside that the language in use - Putonghua - was unfamiliar to some. None of this prevented participants in a recent workshop on education in rural China striving to provide a brighter future for children in the poorer areas of the mainland.

14 Apr 2007 - 12:00am