Maintaining and Setting Standards and Language Variation in the Asian Pacific Region
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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This paper considers Hong Kong’s benchmark language assessments for English teachers. It asks whose standard of English the government, business community, examinations authority, and the teaching profession itself expect teachers to measure up to. As well as examining documentation from these various sources, the paper analyses discussions on TeleNex, a computer network set up for English teachers in Hong Kong. Although the question was seldom explicitly mooted in documents and teachers’ messages, the implicit standards were found to be largely exonormative. Most documents implied a native speaker norm, and teachers were found to regard British dictionaries and grammars as the main authorities on correctness and acceptability. Only the benchmark developers were found to be seeking an “educated Hong Kong model”, but even their criteria rule out an “average” Hong Kong model for teachers.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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