Learning English as a second language in Hong Kong preschools: issues and curriculum innovations

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Second language development has been a major issue in preschool settings, especially in Hong Kong where a policy of biliteracy and trilingualism prevails. Traditionally, the introduction of second languages is generally done in primary schools. Yet, some parents, teachers and school principals believe that an early exposure to a second language in a preschool setting will give children a headstart in achieving proficiency in the languages concerned. In the Guide to the Pre-primary Curriculum, the term "English as a second language" is mentioned, highlighting recognition of its place in the preschool curriculum. The paper will discuss the issues and challenges related to the teaching and learning of English in Hong Kong preschools. Data derived from a Public Policy Research entitled "Improving Life Chances and Social Mobility Through Language Proficiency Provision in Early Childhood Education in Hong Kong: Meeting the Challenges of the Language Education Policy" will be presented, specifically those derived from interviews with teachers and principals/child care supervisors and analysis of teaching strategies in preschool classrooms. Implications for teaching and provisions for teaching materials will be discussed.

Source Publication

The 4th Redesigning Pedagogy: Transforming Teaching, Inspiring Learning International Conference, 2011 May 30 - Jun 1, Singapore

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