Fluency in Chinglish doesn't count as World City yardstick

Hang Seng Bank

Before I start to tell you two stories, let me ask you a question: In general, do you feel English-language skills of Hong Kong people are increasing or declining since the 1997 handover?

Monday, 16 December, 2013, 11:29am 52 comments

Plan for French universities to teach in English sparks a war of words

Minister of Higher Education and Research Genevieve Fioraso. Photo: Reuters

Jacques Chirac once stormed out of an EU summit because a French business leader was speaking it, Nicolas Sarkozy lamented his lack of it and Francois Hollande makes small talk in it but is conscious of his accent.

The global spread of the English language has long been a sore point in Paris politics.

Now a new battleground has appeared in the linguistic war.

13 May 2013 - 5:22am

English-language studies 'destructive' to China's education, says CPPCC deputy

Seen in Beijing, a T-shirt mocking poorly spoken English. Photo: AFP

The head of a national research institute in China said English-language studies were "destructive" to education, which is facing an "unprecedented crisis".

13 Mar 2013 - 2:43pm 24 comments

Hong Kong citizens need to be trilingual

Sunshine House International Pre-Schools, which runs eight kindergartens in Hong Kong, is extending its Putonghua programme to toddlers and infants. Photo: Edward Wong

I refer to Andrew Au's letter ("Putonghua has limited appeal in Hong Kong", January 3).

I agree with the point your correspondent made about the importance of language skills in Hong Kong, especially when being given the title of "Asia's world city".

18 Jan 2013 - 1:52am

Raise English standards in kindergartens

It is important to raise English standards in kindergartens. Photo: Jonathan Wong

I support those who have called for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to pledge in Wednesday's policy address to subsidise the recruitment of native English-speaking teachers for kindergartens.

Introducing such a measure for children whose mother tongues are Chinese or other Asian languages is very important.

13 Jan 2013 - 1:57am 2 comments

Secret to writing well lies in learning to think and feel

Many teachers think they're teaching writing when in fact they are teaching only grammar. Photo: Nora Tam

Why can't Hong Kong students write well in English? I've been asked this question so many times that I've long given up trying to come up with an answer and have learnt instead to look at the issue from a different perspective.

24 Dec 2012 - 8:33am

Pupils reminded to use only English or Chinese in exams

Pupils have been reminded to "watch their language" - but it's not what you think. They should avoid interchanging Chinese and English words, examiners said in reports released yesterday on the first Hong Kong Diploma for Secondary Education examinations.

8 May 2015 - 9:08am

Educator warns parents maids not trained to teach their children English

Educator warns parents maids not trained to teach their children English

Most parents believe employing an English-speaking domestic worker will help their children learn the language, according to a poll.

But they have been warned it is no guarantee of success.

17 Oct 2012 - 3:45am

Railways ministry orders English words to be replaced by pinyin

The Ministry of Railways has ordered all railways to replace any directional words in English station names, such as "east" or "west", with their Chinese equivalents, sparking a heated debate over how to best preserve the language and cater to foreigners.

Directional words will now appear in romanised pinyin text alongside station names, without English translation.

19 Sep 2012 - 2:07pm

Letters to the Editor, August 27, 2012

Community farm in a Fanling village. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Science degree offers limited job options

Press reports pointed out that the visit of Chinese astronauts to Hong Kong earlier this month had inspired youngsters to look at science, not just business.

27 Aug 2012 - 4:53am

Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools


Creative Primary School (Private) and Creative Secondary School (DSS) Kowloon Tong and Tseung Kwan O

PRIMARY: 2A Oxford Rd, Kowloon Tong

Tel: 2336 0266


16 Jun 2007 - 12:00am


CNEC Christian College

Learning English is not only restricted to the classroom at our school. Our teachers have been providing us with many opportunities to learn and practise our English-speaking skills.

Recently, our class was responsible for an activity called 'Spellathon', which was held at lunch time.

2 Feb 2007 - 12:00am


MA in Language Studies (with specialisation in Chinese/Language and Law/Linguistics/Translation and Interpretation), department of Chinese, translation and linguistics, City University of Hong Kong

13 Jan 2007 - 12:00am

Direct Subsidy Scheme Schools


Creative Primary School (Private) and Creative Secondary School (DSS)

Kowloon Tong and Tseung Kwan O

PRIMARY: 2A Oxford Rd, Kowloon Tong

17 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

Wake-up call not needed as survey on English is lost in translation

'Hong Kong has for a long time enjoyed what was believed to be quite good English proficiency. Our English was viewed as better than places like mainland China and Thailand [sic]. Now that is changing. This should serve as a wake-up call for Hong Kong.'

Kristen Rogers,

General manager,

Wall Street Institute

School of English, Hong Kong

9 May 2005 - 12:00am