HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 13 no. 2 (2004)

Medium of Instruction, Identity and Language Attitudes in Post-Colonial Hong Kong

Mee-ling Lai

Discipline: Education



One year after the change of sovereignty of Hong Kong from Britain to China, Mother Tongue Education was implemented in 1998. Since then, 75% of the secondary schools used Chinese as the medium of instruction while 25% of them retained the status of English-medium schools. Students who started their secondary education in this year were the first generation under the mandatory Mother Tongue Education Policy. With an interest to find out the effect of this policy on the language attitudes and perceptions of identity of this unique group, this study was launched three years after the policy was implemented. A total of 484 students from English-medium schools and 564 students from Chinese-medium schools participated in a questionnaire survey, and a selection of 40 of them provided further responses through focus group interviews. With the findings gathered, this paper discusses the significance of medium of instruction in the formulation of language attitudes and perceptions of identity.