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Title: Hong Kong's new English language policy in education
Authors: Evans, S 
Issue Date: 2000
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Source: World Englishes, 2000, v. 19, no. 2, p. 185-204 How to cite?
Journal: World Englishes 
Abstract: The use of English as the medium of instruction in Hong Kong's education system has been a source of controversy since the early years of British colonial rule. Debate has been particularly intense since the 1970s, when the expansion of secondary education underlined the problems which many teachers and students experienced when teaching and learning academic subjects through the medium of English. In late 1997, debate over the issue was reinvigorated after the publication of a policy document which requires most schools to switch their language of instruction from English to Chinese. When implemented, the new language policy will end the process of convergence between the English and Chinese streams which has been going on since the late 1970s, and mark a return to the dual system which characterised Hong Kong's education system for much of the colonial period. This article examines the new policy in the light of developments in educational language policy in the post-war years, and changes in the role of English in Hong Kong since the 1840s. In particular, it aims to show that the problems which have confronted English language policy makers in the past two decades owe their origins to the unique historical forces which have shaped the development of education and society in Hong Kong since the mid-nineteenth century.
ISSN: 0883-2919 (print)
1467-971X (online)
DOI: 10.1111/1467-971X.00168
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