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Tse, S.K. (2015). Literacy Education in Multi-lingual and Multi-cultural Societies: Hong Kong Experience. Journal of Korean Language Education, 36, 563-593.



Literacy Education in Multi-lingual and Multi-cultural Societies: Hong Kong Experience


Journal of Korean Language Education




Vol. 36


Shek Kam TSE


Since its reunification with China in 1997, the former British colony of Hong Kong has changed from being a bi-lingual (Cantonese and English) to a tri-lingual state (Cantonese, English and Mandarin/Putonghua, the language spoken across Mainland China). Since gaining independence, Hong Kong has witnessed a steady influx of non-Chinese-speaking immigrants whose children present a worrying problem for their Chinese-speaking teachers since all pupils are expected to learn, converse and write in Chinese in school. This paper presents a framework for teaching Chinese to non-Chinese speaking pupils in Hong Kong, a framework assembled from the experiences of teachers who teach non-Chinese-speaking pupils; from the recommendations in the curriculum prescribed by the Hong Kong Educational Bureau; and from scholarly publications on the matter from experts in the field. The actions taken and strategies used as teachers and schools attempt to tackle the problem are discussed, particularly the use of differentiated curricula, the use of diverse teaching materials and resources, and experimentation with teaching strategies so that all pupils may learn.


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