In January 2014, the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) approved a new language policy that marked a major shift in MOI practices. Approximately 80% of undergraduate courses were to be delivered through English as the medium of instruction (EMI), a reversal of the previous that allocated 20% to EMI and 80% to Chinese. The overall goal was to foster functional trilingualism in English, Cantonese and Mandarin to different levels of competence according to the circumstances of different students. It was envisaged that classes might be conducted with the judicious use of multilingual pedagogical strategies such as translanguaging. The new language policy caused some unease among staff and students, who feared that using EMI might inhibit learning or who were unsure how to prepare for and deliver classes through EMI or multilingual channels. This paper traces the genesis and development of the language policy, describes the support system created including a resource package (which was prepared by the presenters of this paper) and their rationale, and analyses subsequent feedback from colleagues as they sought to shift to a predominantly EMI mode. The paper captures the struggling learning processes that an institute and people therein go through when language policies are initiated politically rather than educationally (Kan & Adamson, 2016), without sufficient preparation for student- and system-readiness. It also shares a framework which helps prepare for a new MOI policy (Choi, 2018). Copyright © 2019 15th BAAL Language Learning and Teaching in Different Contexts Special Interest Group.
|Publication status||Published - Jun 2019|