Challenges of Chinese Language Education in Multi-lingual Societies: Hong Kong and Singapore

Ho-kin Tong, Yeng-seng Goh


This paper aims to study the current challenges of Chinese language education in the multilingual societies of Hong Kong and Singapore through policy documents. After the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the role of Putonghua is far more important than before due to political and economic reasons. However, the medium of instruction for the Chinese Language subject in Hong Kong has long been Cantonese since the British colony days. A change in the medium of instruction from mother-tongue Cantonese to Putonghua is a shift from L1 to L2. This paper will discuss the feasibility of this long term policy of Hong Kong Education Bureau with reference to Singapore’s experience. Currently, Singapore faces the problem of declining standard of reading and writing in Huayu (Putonghua in China) and this paper will investigate the reason for that and suggest possible remedies.

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International Education Studies ISSN 1913-9020 (Print), ISSN 1913-9039 (Online)

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