Language in Hong Kong

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Ten years after the return of Hong Kong to Chinese sovereignty, English continues to play a significant role in the life of the Hong Konger. This paper surveys the changing perception of English in Hong Kong since 1997: while it used to be considered a colonial language, it has now turned into an “international language of ‘upward and outward mobility’” (Flowerdew and Scollon 1997: 419). In particular, the educational policies concerning English as a medium of instruction at the secondary school level in the special administrative region (SAR) will be discussed. Finally, it will be argued that in the future Hong Kong’s language policy will most likely continue to promote development of biliteracy and trilingualism.


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