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Open Access Language policies for Hong Kong schools since 1997

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Francis of Education (print)/1474-8479 (online) Article 2010 Language in education debates in Hong Kong focus on the role and status of English (as the former colonial language and an important means for international communication); Cantonese, the mother tongue of the majority of the population; and Putonghua, the national language of China. This paper examines the language policy formulated in 1997–1998, and finds that it radically departed from previous policies by mandating the use of Cantonese as the medium of instruction in secondary schools. The paper then analyses two subsequent policy revisions and concludes that, while the tonal emphasis on mother-tongue education has remained, the policy revisions have reversed the language policy to previous practices that emphasised the importance of English.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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