Edited by Ee-Ling Low and Azirah Hashim
[Varieties of English Around the World G42] 2012
► pp. 221–238
Chapter 13. Language policy and planning in Hong Kong
The historical context and current realities
Until 1974, Chinese had no de jure status as an official language of Hong Kong where the colonial government had often claimed to favour a laissez-faire approach to language planning. In the run-up to the resumption of Chinese sovereignty throughout the 1990s, official policy became more interventionist. From 1995, the stated policy of the government has been to promote a “biliterate” and “trilingual” society, and the use of Chinese as a medium of instruction in schools. Immediately after the change in sovereignty, Putonghua became a compulsory school subject. This chapter examines the issue of language planning and policies both from a historical perspective and through a consideration of current policies and practice across the domains of government, law and education in Hong Kong.
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