Challenges of chinese language education in multi-lingual societies: Hong Kong and Singapore

Ho Kin TONG, Yeng Seng GOH

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper aims to study the current challenges of Chinese language education in the multilingual societies of Hong Kong and Singapore through policy documents. After the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997, the role of Putonghua is far more important than before due to political and economic reasons. However, the medium of instruction for the Chinese Language subject in Hong Kong has long been Cantonese since the British colony days. A change in the medium of instruction from mother-tongue Cantonese to Putonghua is a shift from L1 to L2. This paper will discuss the feasibility of this long term policy of Hong Kong Education Bureau with reference to Singapore’s experience. Currently, Singapore faces the problem of declining standard of reading and writing in Huayu (Putonghua in China) and this paper will investigate the reason for that and suggest possible remedies. Copyright © 2008 Canadian Center of Science and Education.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-52
JournalInternational Education Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2008



Tong, H.-K., & Goh, Y.-S. (2008). Challenges of Chinese language education in multi-lingual societies: Hong Kong and Singapore. International Education Studies, 1(4), 44-52.


  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Multi-lingual societies
  • L2 learning
  • Chinese language education