Where is the GAP in Chinese Language learning and teaching for NCSS in HK?
KeywordsChinese language education
South Asian students
ethnic minority students
language development of minorities
Disability and Equity in Education
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AbstractThe Chinese Language education provision for NCSS has been a heated discussion in the community since the early 2000s. Many concerned groups, parents and schools have been fighting for what they call the provision of an alternative Chinese curriculum framework or putting in place a Chinese as a Second Language curriculum (CSL) for the NCSS and more currently, the formulation of an alternative Chinese examination for the NCSS. Throughout the years, the debate over the provision of a CSL curriculum and alternative Chinese examination has been placed on the crossfire and no consensus appears to have been reached between the Education Bureau (EDB) and various stakeholders in the community. More and more NCSS are put and placed with an undesirable future with what appears to be a below-par Chinese proficiency/literacy. This paper is based on my doctoral study entitled “A critical review on the Chinese language education for NCSS in Hong Kong” which was conducted during 2009 to 2012. The study addressed three main research questions: (a) What is the actual Chinese learning outcome of the NCSS? (b) How is the current implementation of the school-based NCSS Chinese curriculum in operations? (c)What are the major concerns of various stakeholders (parents, teachers, NGOs and EDB) on the notion of NCSS learning the Chinese Language? Taking into account of the research questions, the desired end product and the uniqueness of the situation the study employed the eclectic approach (Shulman, 1984) to investigate for the study. The approach included both quantitative and qualitative methods. The former adopts the literacy test and the latter adopts the essence of critical ethnography (mainly using semi-structured interview), observation and documentary analysis. Thus, the first aim of this paper is to extract the major findings from both students’ and teachers’ angle. From the students’ angle; the paper will discuss and depict the barriers that undermine the Chinese literacy of the NCSS and elaborate on the findings such as the mismatch between the learning outcome of the Chinese of the school-based Chinese curriculum and the work place Chinese expectations from the society; the poor interface between the primary and secondary schools’ based Chinese curriculum and NCSS’ language competence fallacy. While findings from teachers’ angle; the issue of inadequate provision for building teachers’ Language Teacher Education Competence (LTEC) and Language Teacher Competence (LTC); difficulties in incorporating the Central Chinese Curriculum Framework (CCCF) and the use of the Supplementary Chinese Curriculum Guide (SCG)will also be elaborated. Finally, the second aim of the paper is to put forward and elaborate on the recommendations concerning the effective Chinese language learning and teaching of NCSS in Hong Kong.