• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:44am

Medium of Instruction

Partnership of equals

The government has finally come up with a modified policy on the medium of instruction for secondary schools, known as 'fine-tuning' arrangements.

Tuesday, 9 June, 2009, 12:00am

The right mix

Our much-maligned education system and language policy are once again under the spotlight as a result of a controversial proposal to 'fine-tune' the medium of instruction policy. The proposed changes will end strict segregation of schools into Chinese and English streams and allow Chinese-medium schools to set aside some time for 'extended learning activities' conducted in English.

30 May 2009 - 12:00am

Another tongue twist

This week's announcement by Education Secretary Michael Suen Ming-yeung marks the latest round in a seemingly never-ending fight - to improve educational standards across the board while meeting the aspirations of parents who know that fluent English is the key to so many opportunities for their children.

10 Jan 2009 - 12:00am

Chinese-medium schools will be allowed to teach in English

The distinction between secondary schools that teach in English and those that use Chinese would vanish under a government plan to fine-tune the controversial policy on medium of instruction, the education minister said yesterday.

7 Jun 2008 - 12:00am

Mind our language

As the government plans to fine-tune the current policy on medium of instruction in secondary schools, the chairman of the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research, Michael Tien Puk-sun, asked: 'Where have those people who previously supported mother-tongue teaching gone?' This says a lot about the sea change in public attitudes towards the language policy since the 1990s.

27 Mar 2008 - 12:00am

Confusion as education chief reopens debate

Language policy review hinted at

Educators say they are baffled why the education minister this week reopened the debate on the medium-of-instruction policy - an issue they thought had been 'settled' almost two years ago.

17 Nov 2007 - 12:00am

Governments aim to boost identities

Asian governments were playing a major role in the spread of English, which now had as many speakers on the continent as in America, Canada and Britain put together, Professor Amy Tsui Bik-may told the conference.

10 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

'Cash' only language that really counts

Forget about the cultural implications, the political altercations and educational benefits. When it comes to language, the foremost issue on people's mind is economics - that age-old principle of cost versus benefit.

Hence, the preservation of a language is rarely contingent on arousing cultural importance, promoting ethnic harmony or touting better learning results.

1 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Teaching of English not effective, says official

Education permanent secretary Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun yesterday criticised Hong Kong schools for not teaching English effectively.

Speaking at a parent conference in Kowloon Tong, Mrs Law said that regardless of the labelling of schools - mother-tongue or English as a medium of instruction (EMI) - students were not learning what they should.

25 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

System 'panders to an English bias'

Mother tongue has better results, says school reformer

A key drafter of new rules on the medium of instruction in schools has dismissed the existing system as a means to accommodate what he calls a public bias towards education in English.

Michael Tien Puk-sun said language barriers were inevitable for Chinese students when they were taught in English.

5 Feb 2005 - 12:00am

Let us choose teaching medium: principals

Heads urge review chief to let schools decide on English or Chinese instruction

Secondary school principals this week came out in consensus behind a medium of instruction model that would leave it up to schools to decide whether to teach in English.

22 May 2004 - 12:00am

A challenging year ahead as reforms to school system gather pace

A review of the secondary allocation regime and issues over the responsibilities of management promise to stir feelings

As schools reopen for the new academic year, educators face many challenges, from the arguments expected to rage over education reforms, to new responsibilities over management and accountability and the growing competition between schools.

30 Aug 2003 - 12:00am

Scheme forced 223 schools to switch languages

Some 223 secondary schools were forced by the government to switch their teaching language to Cantonese under the controversial mother-tongue policy implemented in 1998.

The Education Department had claimed that students of Chinese-medium schools consistently achieved an above-average pass percentage in both Chinese language and English language subjects in the HKCEE.

7 Aug 2003 - 12:00am

Half back Chinese teaching, poll finds

Just over half of adults support mother-tongue teaching, despite the same survey finding more than two-thirds believe teaching in English gives students an academic edge.

The pollsters said the slim majority support for mother-tongue education could pose difficulties for the implementation of the policy, which is due to be reviewed this school year.

6 Sep 2002 - 12:00am

Chinese schools to ease English barrier in classes

An interdisciplinary programme will be introduced from September for students at Chinese-medium secondary schools to allow them to speak more English in the classroom.

Assistant Director of Education Lee Kwok-sung said yesterday that all 223 Chinese-medium schools would be invited to join the five-year study.

13 Feb 2001 - 12:00am