Macquarie University
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Hong Kong Chinese language teachers' perception of mother tongue language education

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posted on 2022-03-28, 22:58 authored by Wai Ha Leung
Effective curriculum development and implementation should base on cultural background and take teachers' views into account. Mother tongue is a core subject in school curricula of most countries. Mother tongue language is not only the tool with which knowledge and skills are taught, but also the vehicle for students to learn the traditions of the countries' literature and culture. These are also important elements in traditional Chinese education. Hong Kong as an ex-colony of British and with the majority of population Chinese, mother tongue curriculum has long been a hot debated issue. This thesis consists of literature review on traditional Chinese education and mother tongue language education to work out assumed aims and objectives of mother tongue language education in the context of post-colonial Hong Kong. Formal curriculum, public examination papers and school assessment tools were analysed to reflect government policies and actual practice in schools. Data on questionnaire and interviews on Hong Kong Chinese language teachers’ views were presented to establish the relationship between formal curriculum and teachers’ preferred curriculum. The results showed that although the Curriculum Guide included culture and literature in the key learning areas of the subject Chinese Language, public examination and actual school practice were still skills-oriented, leaving little room for classical literature. These in fact hindered the aim of developing students culturally during their learning of the subject. Questionnaire survey and interview results showed that experienced Chinese language teachers held similar views with that of traditional Chinese education. They saw Chinese language education more as developing students morally and culturally than just teaching their language skills. Familiarizing students with their heritage culture and learning of classic Chinese literature were important aims of Chinese language learning. The findings indicated that there was tension between teachers’ belief and formal curriculum in Hong Kong.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction and background to the study -- 2. Literature review -- 3. Methodology -- 4. Results -- 5. Discussion and conclusion.


Bibliography: pages 154-183 Theoretical thesis.

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, School of Education

Department, Centre or School

School of Education

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

David L. W. (David Lloyd William) Saltmarsh

Additional Supervisor 1

Robyn Moloney


Copyright Wai Ha Leung 2014. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (ii. 188 pages)

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