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postgraduate thesis: MOI policies and language difficulties of associate degree students in Hong Kong

TitleMOI policies and language difficulties of associate degree students in Hong Kong
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Ho, W. J. [何蕙雯]. (2017). MOI policies and language difficulties of associate degree students in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractThe language difficulties of Associate Degree (AD) students at a Hong Kong postsecondary institution were investigated. Those students had completed their secondary education under Hong Kong’s Mandatory Mother-tongue Teaching Policy, which had allocated them to a secondary school using English as the medium instruction (EMI) or one using Chinese as the medium of instruction (CMI). Semistructured interviews, a questionnaire survey and classroom observations were applied to explore the students’ language-related problems and coping techniques and their teachers’ teaching methods when those students were learning through English in the AD programmes. English is their second language in all cases. The learning experiences of AD students from EMI and CMI secondary schools were compared, and the teachers’ and students’ views on medium-of-instruction (MOI) issues were examined. The teachers felt the students had problems with speaking, writing, listening and reading when learning subject content through L2, but from the students’ perspective, speaking and writing could be more challenging than listening or reading. English vocabulary was assessed as being the common root of the students’ problems. Both teachers and students would sometimes resort to using written Chinese and/or spoken Cantonese to facilitate the latter’s learning, though the school’s MOI is normally English. The students also relied on rote memorisation and practising to prepare for examinations. Students’ discipline was found to be significantly related to their problems in speaking, fluency and pronunciation and vocabulary in reading and writing. The MOI in students’ secondary schools was significantly associated with their self-perceived difficulties. CMI students were more likely to perceive language problems than their EMI classmates. It was likely that the Mandatory Mother-tongue Teaching Policy adversely impacted on the CMI students’ confidence, reception and reproduction of subject knowledge and academic achievements. Also, the policy could have strengthened inequality in secondary education, and might make inequality persist in higher education. Despite students’ language problems, teachers and students themselves preferred EMI higher education for socioeconomic reasons, though pedagogical considerations would recommend Chinese and Cantonese as a supplementary language in classroom teaching. Different forces can help shape an MOI policy. The data suggest that the socioeconomic and pedagogical forces are the major ones to shape the preferred EMI in policy and some CMI in practice. Using de Ceteau’s (1984) concepts of “strategy” and “tactic”, this study argues that the tactics used by teachers and students can help address the latter’s pedagogical problems in the short-term. However, only when Hong Kong’s social structure has changed can the conflict between the two forces be resolved fundamentally.
DegreeDoctor of Education
SubjectLanguage and education - Hong Kong - China
Language - Junior college students - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramEducation
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/254043

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorHo, Wai-man, Janet-
dc.contributor.author何蕙雯-
dc.date.accessioned2018-06-05T05:53:01Z-
dc.date.available2018-06-05T05:53:01Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationHo, W. J. [何蕙雯]. (2017). MOI policies and language difficulties of associate degree students in Hong Kong. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/254043-
dc.description.abstractThe language difficulties of Associate Degree (AD) students at a Hong Kong postsecondary institution were investigated. Those students had completed their secondary education under Hong Kong’s Mandatory Mother-tongue Teaching Policy, which had allocated them to a secondary school using English as the medium instruction (EMI) or one using Chinese as the medium of instruction (CMI). Semistructured interviews, a questionnaire survey and classroom observations were applied to explore the students’ language-related problems and coping techniques and their teachers’ teaching methods when those students were learning through English in the AD programmes. English is their second language in all cases. The learning experiences of AD students from EMI and CMI secondary schools were compared, and the teachers’ and students’ views on medium-of-instruction (MOI) issues were examined. The teachers felt the students had problems with speaking, writing, listening and reading when learning subject content through L2, but from the students’ perspective, speaking and writing could be more challenging than listening or reading. English vocabulary was assessed as being the common root of the students’ problems. Both teachers and students would sometimes resort to using written Chinese and/or spoken Cantonese to facilitate the latter’s learning, though the school’s MOI is normally English. The students also relied on rote memorisation and practising to prepare for examinations. Students’ discipline was found to be significantly related to their problems in speaking, fluency and pronunciation and vocabulary in reading and writing. The MOI in students’ secondary schools was significantly associated with their self-perceived difficulties. CMI students were more likely to perceive language problems than their EMI classmates. It was likely that the Mandatory Mother-tongue Teaching Policy adversely impacted on the CMI students’ confidence, reception and reproduction of subject knowledge and academic achievements. Also, the policy could have strengthened inequality in secondary education, and might make inequality persist in higher education. Despite students’ language problems, teachers and students themselves preferred EMI higher education for socioeconomic reasons, though pedagogical considerations would recommend Chinese and Cantonese as a supplementary language in classroom teaching. Different forces can help shape an MOI policy. The data suggest that the socioeconomic and pedagogical forces are the major ones to shape the preferred EMI in policy and some CMI in practice. Using de Ceteau’s (1984) concepts of “strategy” and “tactic”, this study argues that the tactics used by teachers and students can help address the latter’s pedagogical problems in the short-term. However, only when Hong Kong’s social structure has changed can the conflict between the two forces be resolved fundamentally. -
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshLanguage and education - Hong Kong - China-
dc.subject.lcshLanguage - Junior college students - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleMOI policies and language difficulties of associate degree students in Hong Kong-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Education-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineEducation-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2018-
dc.identifier.mmsid991044005597603414-

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