Cry CU 有關中大國際化討論

星期一, 2月 07, 2005

English-language teaching debate focuses on juniors

Teddy Ng2005-02-07

The debate over language of instruction at secondary schools has intensified after the Education Commission published its proposals on the matter.

In a report released last week, the commission urges more stringent requirements be imposed on both students and teachers before schools are allowed to teach junior classes in English.
Some educators believe the new requirements will significantly reduce the number of schools teaching in English.

Association of English Medium Secondary Schools external secretary Rosalind Chan, speaking on RTHK's City Forum, said the move will discourage English teaching in Hong Kong.
``Hong Kong's characteristic as an international city will be damaged if English standards keep dropping,'' she said. ``Teaching in English enhances students' creativity because they also understand Western culture.

``Chinese-medium secondary schools fail to deliver proper bilingual education.''
Chan is also dissatisfied with a proposal to give Chinese-medium schools more resources for English activities and teachers.

``Chinese-medium schools only focus on one language, but English schools focus on bilingual education. I cannot understand why we should be given fewer resources,'' she said.
Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union vice-president Au Pak-kuen said schools should still be allowed to teach in English even if the number of their students qualified as suitable to learn in the language is less than the proposed 85 per cent.

However, Chinese Medium Schools Association executive committee member Ho Ki-to insists Cantonese is the most effective instruction medium.

Ho said most kindergarten and primary schools in Hong Kong teach in Cantonese, and it will be difficult for students to switch to English after proceeding to secondary school. ``Chinese- medium schools can teach in English in senior forms,'' he said.

``However, in junior classes, students need more time to improve their subject knowledge and language skills. It is not appropriate to learn in English in junior forms,'' he said.

Hong Kong University Assistant Professor Cheung Kwok-wah said Hong Kong has already paid a huge price for teaching in English.

``Certainly, there are some students able to learn in English,'' he said.
``However, there are also a lot of students who are not capable.
``These students also fail to learn other subjects because they cannot use English to learn.''



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