A comparison of student perceptions towards learning English versus L1 language in an international EMI school in Hong Kong

David William SORRELL, Christine Irene FORLIN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

Abstract

First language (L1) Chinese parents and students in Hong Kong consider English language proficiency beneficial for future academia and careers. The number of L1 Chinese students attending English Medium of Instruction (EMI) international schools has, therefore, continued to rise in recent decades. Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) is highly valued in Hong Kong. This paper reports questionnaire data of primary school students attending an EMI international school in Hong Kong and compares their perceptions towards learning English as their first language (L1) or second language (L2). Results indicate that both age groups of L1 and L2 students value English, but that many older L1 Chinese (Cantonese or Mandarin) students consider being better at reading in English than in their L1 language. The discussion highlights possible detrimental effects on maintaining L1 competence when educated in an L2 environment. Copyright © 1989-2015 by the CESHK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
JournalInternational Journal of Comparative Education and Development
Volume17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Citation

Sorrell, D., & Forlin, C. (2015). A comparison of student perceptions towards learning English versus L1 language in an international EMI school in Hong Kong. International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, 17(1), 57-70.

Keywords

  • English language proficiency
  • Vocabulary
  • Hong Kong
  • International schools
  • Student perceptions
  • Critical age theories

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