Posts Tagged ‘language’
In 1997, the government announced a dramatic shift in education policy, replacing English with Chinese as the medium of instruction in Hong Kong schools. Not long afterwards it said it was making the teaching of Chinese in Putonghua a long-term goal. These were just some of the big education reforms that have been instituted in the last 20 years, which have left teachers scrambling to adapt and keep up, and students struggling under heavy workloads.
The Cantonese language has many evocative folk sayings and proverbs where a few Chinese words can convey a long message in a vivid and concise way. As the social context in which these saying arose changes, some are beginning to fade out, but this has drawn attention to the need to preserve them.
People in Hong Kong use “Kongish,” a new kind of Hong Kong-style English, and there’s even a Facebook page celebrating this unique way of communicating. Some say that it’s not just a kind of short hand; it’s a way for Hongkongers to express their identity.
As more and more schools choose to teach Chinese in Putonghua, many local teachers and teachers-to-be fear they will be passed over for teachers who speak Putonghua as their mother tongue. There are signs that some schools would rather hire native Putonghua speakers to teach Chinese even if they have no university training in Chinese language. But should this really be a criterion for picking Chinese teachers?
Some Hong Kong parents pay high school fees to let their children have an international education in the city’s international schools but at one government-aided primary school in Mid-levels, local and expatriate pupils learn with and from each other in a setting that mixes local and international elements. Varsity meets and teachers and children of this multicultural school.
Varsity checks out a free mobile app that puts the fun back into learning a foreign language.
She’s just crazy — about Cantonese that is. Meet Cecile Gamst Berg, the Norwegian who has made it a life mission to make Cantonese a world language, starting with her unconventional language classes and outlandish online videos.
Hong Kongers take inspiration from pro-Cantonese movement in Guangdong and stand up to defend their mother tongue from encroachment from Putonghua.
Meet the local Cantonese-speaking parents who will only speak to their children. They say they want their kids to have a head-start. But experts tell Varsity kids have more to gain from a multilingual environment.
As more and more schools teach Chinese in Putonghua, teachers, parents and students tell Varsity whether they think it’s a better way to learn.