Teaching English in Hong Kong Schools

Teaching ESL English In Hong Kong Primary & Secondary Schools



Hong Kong is an international trading city which plays an important role in the global economy. Although English is an official language in the Special Administrative Region, 98% of its population are Chinese and the majority of the time Cantonese is spoken both in the workplace and at home.

After the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the then government made all but 20% of government schools change their medium of instruction to Cantonese. Some of the decision was linked to the handover to the Mainland and thus the importance of the Chinese language, but there was also a feeling that since Cantonese was used so much outside school that students would actually do better in their academic studies if they were taught in Cantonese.

Unfortunately, after almost ten years of this system, a research study at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, led by Prof. Tsang Wing-kwong of the Department of Educational Administration and Policy, found that students taught in Chinese medium schools did far worse than their English taught counterparts in several academic attainment criteria. They also had a much lower chance of getting into University.

The system has now been changed and many more schools are allowed to use English. But how long will it take for students to improve their English. And what about the students that graduated in the period from 1997 to 2008? How are they going to compete against their English taught counterparts?

Since English is so important ion the workplace and for career advancement, the best way is to take an English course to gain confidence in speaking as well as improve English business writing skills.