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Insights into Language Education Policies

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Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Terry Lamb

Insights into Language Education Policies is of particular interest to academic researchers, policymakers, and teaching professionals interested in language education. It aims to provide the reader with critical insights into language education policies in diverse countries around the world. The chapters examine from different perspectives (for instance, migration and minority languages, indigenous languages, and content and language integrated learning [CLIL] instruction) the measures adopted in these settings to foster (modern) language learning, underlining their strengths and weaknesses and suggesting future avenues and courses of action to enhance plurilingual education in these particular contexts and beyond.

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Hong Kong language policy and its relationship to and effect on language use in Hong Kong (Bertha Du-Babcock)

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Bertha Du-Babcock

Hong Kong language policy and its relationship to and effect on language use in Hong Kong

Abstract: The major aim of the present chapter is to describe and analyse the current language policy and language use in Hong Kong. Thus, the chapter begins by setting forth background factors related to the Hong Kong language environment and summarises, adopting a critical perspective, the different assessments measuring the language competence of Hong Kong citizens so as to communicate in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Next, it describes the various language policies set by the government, the educational sector, and business enterprises and their effect on communication in Hong Kong. By drawing on the language-based communication zones model, it further analyses several business communication situations, underlining the need for developing different language competence levels in order to communicate effectively in these situations. To conclude, the chapter ties together Hong Kong language policy and its relationship with present and future language use in the area.

Keywords: Communication zones, business communication, language competence assessment, language proficiency

1 Introduction

Hong Kong faces the challenge of developing and implementing a language policy that facilitates the acquisition of adequate levels of competency in three languages: Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Language policy has historically been developed against a backdrop where English and Cantonese competencies were both needed, but, with the rise of Mainland China as a global economic and political power, competency in Mandarin is now also essential....

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