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ERIC Number: ED443297
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 37
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Late Immersion and Language of Instruction (English vs. Chinese) in Hong Kong High Schools: Achievement Growth in Language and Nonlanguage Subjects.
Hau, Kit-Tai; Marsh, Herbert W.; Kong, Chit-Kwong; Poon, Andrew Chung-Shing
This study examines how instruction in the first language (L1), Chinese, and in the second language (L2), English, affects a large sample of students' academic achievement in L1, L2, and content, nonlanguage school subjects, including mathematics, science, geography, and history, in their first 3 years of high school. For all four content area subjects, to a lesser extent in mathematics, late immersion in English as the language of instruction had negative effects that did not vary with initial general ability; were slightly smaller for students initially more proficient in the second language; declined slightly over time for some subjects; and were counteracted somewhat by particularly strong English-language courses. Immersion in English had positive effects on English and, to a lesser extent, Chinese language achievement, but these effects were small relative to the large negative effects in nonlanguage subjects. Whereas previous research has shown positive effects for early-immersion programs that start in kindergarten where language demands are not so great, negative effects for this late immersion program challenge the generality of these findings to high schools, and perhaps even theoretical models of second language acquisition. The paper begins with a literature review, provides a description of the situation in Hong Kong, presents empirical data, and concludes with an exploration of the educational policy implications. (Contains 45 references.) (KFT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Hong Kong