Medium-of-instruction debate I : mother tongue education and the Dual MoI streaming policy (1998-)

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic research

Abstract

In this chapter, we will examine the divergent social forces and competing ideological premises embodied in a few policy documents, notably the Llewellyn Report (Llewellyn SJ, Hancock G, Kirst M, Roeloffs KA, Perspective on education in Hong Kong: Report by a visiting panel. Government Printer, Hong Kong. Retrieved 28 May 2015, from http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/about-edb/publications-stat/major-reports/perspe_e.pdf, 1982) and the Education Commission Report No. 4 (ECR4, The curriculum and behavioural problems in schools. Government Printer, Hong Kong. Retrieved 27 May 2015, from http://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/about-edb/publications-stat/major-reports/ecr4_e.pdf, 1990), the latter being instrumental in paving the way for the implementation of the dual MoI streaming policy from September 1998, whereby primary-school leavers (around age 12) are allocated to Chinese-medium or English-medium secondary schools. Drawing on a number of critical studies in the literature, we will give a critical appraisal of the educational merits of the streaming proposal in ECR4 by scrutinizing its questionable ideological premises. It will be argued that, as a justification of the streaming proposal, the scapegoating and stigmatization of ‘mixed code’ is ill-advised and unfounded. The monolingual classroom language ideology is outdated. To enhance the quality of classroom teaching and learning, there is a need for more rigorous classroom-based research on pedagogically sound and productive translanguaging practices, with a view to facilitating the effective teaching and learning of content subjects. A promising way forward is to investigate how and under what circumstances students’ L1 may be turned strategically into a useful pedagogical resource in the hands of properly trained plurilingual teachers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultilingual Hong Kong : languages, literacies and identities
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Pages145-178
Number of pages34
ISBN (Electronic)9783319441955
ISBN (Print)9783319441931
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Publication series

NameMultilingual Education
ISSN (Print)2213-3208

Keywords

  • Medium of instruction
  • English-medium education
  • Chinese-medium education
  • Mother tongue education
  • Dual MoI streaming policy
  • Cantonese-English mixed code
  • Code-switching
  • Code-mixing
  • Translanguaging
  • Bilingual instruction

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