Chinese Class for Ethnic Minorities
Without a language-rich environment at home, non-chinese-speaking children find it hard to pick up Chinese until they receive formal schooling. If they enroll in mainstream schools, they can master the spoken form of Chinese (Cantonese) without much difficulty, being surrounded by peers who speak it. However, their Chinese reading and writing skills remain poor, due to the nature of Chinese acquisition, during which one has to master not only the confusing characters, but very complex sentence patterns.
If non-Chinese-speaking students take the new senior secondary curriculum, they will have to get a level three for Chinese in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) to meet the minimum requirement for university entrance. That is a formidable task even for many local students. Some non-Chinese -speaking pupils may be fluent in English, but struggle with subjects taught in Chinese. These students might worry that their sub-par Chinese skills could jeopardise their chances of university admission.
We should provide Chinese programmes for them to catch up with the Chinese curriculum in Hong Kong. Individual and small-group teaching allow teachers to offer better guidance to pupils who struggle with Chinese. Holistic changes rather than piecemeal adaptations should be introduced to the assessment, curriculum design, pedagogy and teacher training to help non-Chinese-speaking students. Chinese is a major roadblock to tertiary education and career prospects for ethnic minorities. To empower them to succeed can solve many other social problems arising from a lack of upward mobility.
- Sir Ellis Kadoorie Primary School
- Sikh Temple
- Po Leung Kuk Madam Chan Wai Chow Memorial School
- Jordan Road Government Primary School
- Li Shing Tai Hang School
- Buddhist Wong Cheuk Um Primary School