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Extent To Which Schools’ In Hong-Kong Use English As Languages Except Chinese As Their Medium Of Communication Add in library

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What is the extent to which schools’ in Hong-Kong use English and languages except Chinese as their medium of communication?”





The under detailed research is based on the study about use of English language by people in Hong-Kong. A particular age bracket has been interviewed and analyzed and were asked questions related to use of English in their personal as well as professional life. The research question here was “What is the extent to which schools’ in Hong-Kong use English and languages except Chinese as their medium of communication?”

The main aim of the study is to analyze the use of English and other languages in schools of Hong-Kong. I have considered a particular school run in the Hong Kong by proper mutual-aid firm that was actually settled up by the mainlanders coming to Hong-Kong following the setting of People’s Republic of China (Davison, 2007). The organization has actually placed very higher values upon the usage of Putonghua as well as this is the authorized medium of communication for the Chinese Language plus Literature as well as for whole Chinese History within this school. Because of use of this language in the society of Hong Kong the community is often expected towards enhancing beneath the Chinese sovereignty, pattern of the language use within this school may also provide few indications of the way in which the circumstances is probable to develop within schools in Hong Kong  generally since some coming years. An extra reason for selection of this is that I actually was previously familiar with organization.




A person residing and born plus brought up in Hong Kong in China generally grows up with and intent to always speak Chinese both at home plus even at school. Yet some schools even teach English and also Putonghua. Thus people might know three languages say English, Cantonese and Putonghua. Language in reality is merely a process of appropriate human communication which is either spoken otherwise written and also consists of utilization of words within very structured as well as conventional way.

Review of Literature:

The research is actually based on the study which analyzes use of English language and other languages except Chinese in schools of Hong- Kong. This study would enable the researcher to understand all the facts and details related to linguistic differences among several nations and areas and even sometime amid localities. The research well even help the readers to get the details as well as it would throw light upon the use of English language by people staying in Hong-Kong. Language actually is a process of appropriate communication of human beings either spoken or else written and also consists of use of terms and words within proper structure as well as conservative way (PENNINGTON and YUE, 1994). Thus the study aims to attain all the details related to language and specially use of English language by people in Hong- Kong. Since Hong-Kong is in china and Chinese people are always careful about use of their own Chinese language and even the schools and colleges in the nation use Chinese as basic language for communication, it has really become a necessity to evaluate and analyze the value of English in minds of people staying here. A proper age bracket has also been considered and analyzed plus even they were asked questions related to use of English in their personal as well as professional life. This study presents a proper study of  roles of the Putonghua, English as well as Cantonese in Hong Kong and the schools’ here that follow secondary education ideologically dedicated to promotion of the Putonghua, as well as also relates it to to general issue of relative situation of dissimilar languages in the Hong Kong. The research also studies history of the language policy within the particular school, where I once worked, as well as presents all the outcomes of the questionnaire examination of practice plus opinions of present members of the staff. Efforts are also taken to promote the English-speaking atmosphere, such as those towards promoting English, actually have till a vast extent been aggravated by strong affection towards Cantonese of the overwhelmingly Cantonese-speaking community. The obtainable pattern of the languages that are similar to ones in several Hong Kong institutions for education as well as workplaces plus would also be extra difficult towards change with no presence of any significant percentage of the Non-English speakers in the organization.




Information related to present language utilization plus attitudes at school under examination was studied and the details were obtained upon three individual visits. A proper questionnaire also was distributed towards teaching employees and also 15 forms were in reality returned. I even conducted face to face interviews with principal, and English as well as Chinese panel plus with each other the teacher of English plus one of the Chinese. This also was done within English apart from for a Chinese teacher, with whom I also used English (Maza, 1957). I even explained that information was required for the project as a part of my research but may eventually get published within few form or some other. Informants also were later provided a chance towards comment upon drafting of the report for the research and, though principal have found interpretation “slightly subjective,” there also were seriously zero objections towards exact statements. With exception of English panel, who actually had joined school upon returning from the degree studies within USA, all those were interviewed were actually known to me through my self time operational in school. There also was zero convenient English panel that was met to tape record, yet my feeling from  three visits was reliable with statement symptomatic of as well as almost completely English atmosphere exterior certain official settings.

Data Presentsion Plus Analysis

As primary school that was run by similar association looked like it operates the Putonghua-medium scheme all across majority of curriculum, practice within secondary school examined is to persuade other than enforcing the utilization of the language Putonghua. Contract of teachers of Chinese medium demand that schools must teach the students in English language. The first holder of such position was the Putonghua-speaker through Taiwan who also had beforehand worked like an academic within the USA. He also was not at all fluent within Cantonese plus he also attempted towards establishing the Putonghua otherwise English atmosphere within the school, teaching staff were instructed that they must never use Cantonese towards talking to one another in staff room. Few teachers even claimed that the teacher likely chose to talk in Putonghua towards the members of employees who the teacher knew were extra stronger in talking in English plus to utilize English with all those who actually were extra comfortable within Putonghua. A Chinese teacher speaking was also said to get resigned just because of the result of the application of the rules. Also in contrast, current principal of the school was also unable to talk in Putonghua while appointed plus was also asked by association towards taking lessons. He then claims to get reasonably easy but carries on to build the speeches upon formal times in English, that remains the stronger language of the teacher. English otherwise Putonghua also is still languages utilized for operations like yearly graduation ceremonial. Common announcements at the assembly that also were made within the Cantonese language when I initially joined school as a teacher plus in Putonghua otherwise English while my last year are currently made within only Putonghua (PENNINGTON and YUE, 1994). In common life of school, overwhelmingly the Cantonese-oriented character of the Hong Kong community has effortlessly resisted institutional force to boost use of the English as well as Putonghua.


Though  real principal’s appointment of the American emigrant at sole stage like English panel made few utilization of the English among the teachers predictable, instructions fully banning the Cantonese from staff room also were ignored other than when principal himself actually walked by. At present even the contractual need to teach subjects of Chinese-medium in the language Putonghua is commonly disregarded. Chinese Panel also explained that it actually was hard to attain students to disburse attention even while speaking to the students in their own mother-tongue as well as that extensive use of the Putonghua also was thus impractical. Though no factor was mentioned, parental needs may even have counted all against the Putonghua, because I remember considering an interior school text suggesting that the parents may also press for use of the Cantonese within its place. Some other teachers belonging to Chinese and whom I spoke also claimed that he or she himself as well as one other associate of panel did utilize Putonghua lengthily yet that others regularly employed the Cantonese. His self method also was to provide explanations of textbook within Putonghua, yet he also allowed students to reply to the questions within the Cantonese language and also to use Cantonese himself for explaining chiefly hard points. He also expected to view greater stress upon Putonghua within future yet, like current principal, was also against attempting to impose language. Replies towards questionnaire actually indicate pattern of the “code-switching” and was also prevalent all through most of the Hong Kong’s so called schools that were“Anglo-Chinese”. Also two of English educators did, moreover, claim towards using English upon few occasions with the student’s exterior to the class, few things I had also observed a preceding panel doing through Sixth type of students while I also was a staff. Additionally, meetings   of the English panel  are yet conducted within the English language. Though the panel stated about this that this must ideally happen within any situation, she also admitted that establishing factor actually was actually presence of the Malaysian-Chinese that is in reality not so fluent in the language named Cantonese. This educator herself, who actually had been within the Hong Kong since some nine years, even informed me about herself that she till now normally utilized English for every one-on-one interaction with some other teachers as well as that though she from time to time spoke within the language said as Cantonese with the learners she also preferred to talk in English while scolding the class as they may laugh on her pronunciation of the Cantonese language. She even had particular complexity with extra formal vocabulary  within the Cantonese  language and within full employee meetings  that were conducted, also as in my time, within Cantonese and then she cannot properly understand but sometimes also asked for understanding if she even thought that a thing was chiefly important. Though a cultural Chinese, she also was therefore to a vast extent playing similar role like the western teachers who was also an expatriate and even had formerly performed within the school by providing some occasion for larger use of the English language as compared to ones that otherwise could have occurred, yet at cost of being an incomplete outsider within the Cantonese society (Pierson, Fu and Lee, 1980). The status of this teacher actually was “semi-foreigner” and thus was unbreakable as she was never expert in Chinese plus therefore cannot get any advantage of the TV subtitles or something else for aiding her attainment of the Cantonese language. English atmosphere was not that common within the school but yet teaching staff were instructed that they must never use Cantonese towards talking to one another in staff room. Few teachers even claimed that the teacher likely chose to talk in Putonghua towards the members of employees who the teacher knew were extra stronger in talking in English plus to utilize English with all those who actually were extra comfortable within Putonghua (Zhou, 2010).

The thorough results of questionnaire are now being presented below in the form of a Table. It must be noted that towards assisting the distribution of types the the English Panel or any assistant that has written the individual teachers’ starting on them as well as this might even have reserved the honesty of results, especially from the time the total issue of the language utilization predominantly in classroom is the sensitive one as well as since several of such asked to react already were known to me personally as I have worked in the school for some years in past time.

Respondent’s subject and language background

Subject’s taught

1. Chinese/ Chinese history-2
2. Economics
3. Chemistry
4. Geography
5 Biology
6. English
7. Math
8. Computer
9. Arts
10. Putonghua

Language use in specific situation















Explaining  content of the textbook a Chinese-medium subject














Explaining content of any text book in English medium subject














Classroom management in any English medium subject














Management of classroom in a Chinese medium subject














Talking to people outside class specially student














Staff meeting that is informal














Panel meeting














Informal interaction within the school














a)    To Cantonese coworkers














b)   To Chinese coworkers and visitors















1. C = Cantonese
2. E = English
3. P = Putonghua

Where single symbol seems in brackets following another like E(C)) it shows normal utilization of first plus subsidiary utilization of second.
Where dual languages are seen in ‘Used normally” column they actually are Linked with + like E + C

The responses actually indicate dual symptoms that are commonly low phase of proficiency within the Putonghua as well as a very strong favorite for ongoing to function principally within the Cantonese and also out of the aggregate which is 157 settings, answers also show  predominant utilization of the Cantonese within some 110 teachers (Yu and Atkinson, 1988). This outcome might also be slowly skewed as I have not yet prepared any Chinese description of questionnaire as well as a minimum two of Chinese panel counting one of interviewees also had negligible English, yet this is till now possibly broadly envoy of employees on a whole. It is even vital that single of all the teachers of the Chinese who also returned the questionnaire claimed merely about the capability to talk one-on-one in the Putonghua language not with full fluency. A very great percentage of teachers also claimed the fluency within English that was actually 14 out of the 15 who answered plus also that these people even felt very comfortable while speaking English towards the foreigners  that were 13 from amongst the 15. Contrarily, majority which is 11 from all 15 also may be very happy to speak and talk and use English towards a Chinese that did never understand the Cantonese; such most probably reflects reality that all their poor authority of Putonghua creates English demonstrates a lower embarrassing choice as well as also likely most of replies experience using the English through their Malaysian coworkers over many years. Data upon this also point, however, be extra full if questionnaire may have also asked what language people actually utilized while speaking in a straight line to the Chinese who in reality did never know Cantonese yet were very proficient in Putonghua as well as English. There also were very clear majority that preferred to speak and write English other than Cantonese while talking to some Westerner that understood the Cantonese (Tsui and Bunton, 2000). As talked in introduction, such might reflect very simple concern through asserting self status like capable users of the language named English yet other reorganizations might also be important. It is even vital that single of all the teachers of the Chinese who also returned the questionnaire claimed merely about the capability to talk one-on-one in the Putonghua language not with full fluency. A very great percentage of teachers also claimed the fluency within English that was actually 14 out of the 15 who answered plus also that these people even felt very comfortable while speaking English towards the foreigners that were 13 from amongst the 15.

Finally, while answering questions related to talking to people in Cantonese in presence of a person who did never understand particular language, the vast number of respondents actually indicated that, to the extent that their self proficiency permitted it, they actually would select a language known by third party. Like Westerners in common often lodged complain about English-talking Chinese colleagues who often failed to do such in any situation.




Regarding spoken communication and interactions, working ecologies in the Hong Kong could in reality be separated to three classes that are, local who have almost elite utilization of Cantonese, second is the old colonial having Cantonese used in the middle of colleagues yet English needed for interaction with all the superiors; and lastly the international who working at the similar level carry dissimilar language backgrounds as well as English thus becomes natural base for their communication and interaction. Staff within the Hong Kong school that was analyzed generally working as in a very local ecology and surrounding. The meeting of any non-Cantonese-talker as initial principal of school within the study distorted the total situation to “old colonial” assortment, but through the Putonghua plus English in “high” phase and situation as well as proper and greater stage. The appointment like ordinary parts of employee of the non-Cantonese talker, whether Westerners otherwise ethnic Chinese also shifted whole ecology into “international” way, for instance, in continuing utilization of the English language for English Panel sittings and meetings organized thereby. The main evidence and proof from the study demonstrates and shows that rather all this being a return towards “old colonial” replica will never have any extra effect upon “horizontal” interaction patterns, that would merely be shifted considerably through introducing very significant quantity of the non-Cantonese talkers as commonplace members of the employees otherwise staff. Provided all the demographic facts and details like change within the workforce elements is never a very practical probability for most of the schools or teaching organizations in the Hong Kong or for any other workplaces in the nation (Wang and Ladegaard, 2008).

In a nutshell here are all the facts and details related to the use of English language and also some other languages like Cantonese and Putonghua in the school of Hong-Kong and also in other workplaces where people from several backgrounds work together.




Davison, C. (2007). Views From the Chalkface: English Language School-Based Assessment in Hong Kong. Language Assessment Quarterly, 4(1), pp.37-68.

Maza, H. (1957). Language Differences and Political Integration*. The Modern Language Journal, 41(8), pp.365-372.

PENNINGTON, M. and YUE, F. (1994). English and Chinese in Hong Kong: pre-1997 language attitudes. World Englishes, 13(1), pp.1-20.

STUDENTS IN HONG KONG. Language Learning, 30(2), pp.289-305.

Tsui, A. and Bunton, D. (2000). The discourse and attitudes of English language teachers in Hong Kong. World Englishes, 19(3), pp.287-303.

Wang, L. and Ladegaard, H. (2008). Language Attitudes and Gender in China: Perceptions and Reported Use of Putonghua and Cantonese in the Southern Province of Guangdong. Language Awareness, 17(1), pp.57-77.

Yu, V. and Atkinson, P. (1988). An investigation of the language difficulties experienced by Hong Kong secondary school students in Englishâ€Âmedium schools: II some causal factors. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 9(4), pp.307-322.

Zhou, Y. (2010). English Language Learning Strategy Use by Chinese Senior High School Students. English Language Teaching, 3(4).
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