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Diversified MOI arrangements to enrich language environment in schools (with video)

     The Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, announced today (May 29) that starting with the Secondary One level from the 2010-11 academic year, secondary schools may introduce different Medium of Instruction (MOI) arrangements to enrich students' English learning environment to suit their different needs.

     The ultimate aim is to increase students' opportunities to be exposed to, and use, English.

     The Chief Executive in Council on Tuesday (May 26) endorsed the fine-tuning proposal under which secondary schools may adopt diversified MOI arrangements according to students' aptitude and needs.

     Mr Suen said, "In line with the policy goal of upholding mother-tongue teaching while enhancing students' proficiency in both Chinese and English, the fine-tuning of MOI for secondary schools will enhance our students' exposure to English and its use at junior secondary levels.

     "This will enhance students' ability to learn in English, prepare them to embrace new challenges from globalisation and enhance Hong Kong's status as an international city."

     Under the diversified fine-tuning arrangements, secondary schools may, depending on teachers' readiness to teach in English, choose to supplement mother-tongue teaching with the adoption of English as the MOI in up to 25% of total lesson time (excluding the lesson time of the English Language subject) across subjects.  Alternatively, schools may allocate the relevant lesson time to the teaching of one or two non-language subjects in English.

     Secondary schools may also opt to teach some or all non-language subjects in English at junior secondary level, provided they meet the prescribed criteria on students' ability to learn in English, the teachers' readiness to teach in English and schools' associated support measures.

     "Schools can devise diversified MOI arrangements at junior secondary level to allow every junior secondary student various degrees of exposure to English.  This will enable them to make a smooth transition to senior secondary and post-secondary education, better equipping them for their careers in the future.

     "The objective of education is teaching students in accordance with their aptitude.  We believe the interests and needs of students will continue to be the prime consideration of schools, which will make decisions based on professional judgment to allow every student a better chance to realise their full potential," Mr Suen said.

     To help parents to make school choices for their children, the Education Bureau (EDB) will request schools to clearly spell out their MOI arrangements for each non-language subject.  This information should be included in the School Profile published annually for parents' reference.

     Mr Suen said he hoped that apart from considering the MOI a school adopted, parents would also consider the school's vision and mission, characteristics and teaching strategies when selecting schools most suited to the abilities and interests of their children.

     The Education Bureau will introduce a series of support measures for secondary schools to ensure effective implementation of school-specific MOI policies.  These include the provision of training courses and professional support services to non-language subject teachers in secondary schools; facilitation of best practice sharing sessions between schools and teachers, and commissioning of a study on promoting English across the curriculum and teaching non-language subjects in English in order to develop effective teaching resources and assess effectiveness.

     To build a solid English language foundation for primary school students, and to complement the fine-tuning arrangements, the bureau will further enhance the teaching and learning of English in primary schools.  Enhancement measures include the establishment of a scholarship aimed at attracting young talents to pursue a career in education.  The bureau also plans to strengthen school-based support services, provide professional training for teachers and enhance the English learning environment in primary schools.  

     In the past year or so, the bureau has been consulting stakeholders over the fine-tuning of MOI policy.  The objectives and direction of the fine-tuning arrangements were generally supported.  "We also held consultation sessions for parents to explain the proposed arrangements and obtained feedback from them directly," Mr Suen said.

     The education system and policy should tie in with the rapid development of the knowledge-based economy in the 21st century and  nurture students to become proficient in both Chinese and English in response to the needs of the community.

     The Education Bureau has published a leaflet on the fine-tuning of MOI policy.  Parents and the public can obtain a copy from the District Offices.  The leaflet has also been uploaded onto the bureau website ( and will be distributed to schools.

Ends/Friday, May 29, 2009
Issued at HKT 17:15


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