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The ability to communicate is one of the building blocks of society. A tool to transfer ideas and share knowledge, communication also enable us to bond as families, friends and citizens. Yet, not everyone can write, read and speak the language of the place they call home. Hong Kong is a good example of how languages, cultures and history intersected to create a society where two very different official languages and a multitude of cultures co-exist in harmony. As the importance of Chinese as a language grows, many members of ethnic minorities (EM) – especially from South Asia – find themselves at a disadvantage. Committed to ensuring EM children get a good start, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has launched the C-for-Chinese@JC (the Project) since 2016 to improve how the Hong Kong education system enhances the Chinese proficiency of the EM students, with the ultimate aims of facilitating their smooth transition to primary schools and social integration.
Project beneficiaries and results
The Project Team – comprising three local universities and two NGOs – fully supports 20 kindergartens benefitting 1,600 EM students, 12,000 local Chinese-speaking (CS) students, 400 teachers and professionals, and 700 EM parents. Students who consistently follow the Project programmes outperform non-Project students in language growth, self-identity, cultural esteem and social integration skills. Teachers’ knowledge, skills, self-efficacy and teaching effectiveness significantly higher than the non-trained teachers. The effectiveness the training – Educator Course – has been recognised by the Education Bureau since 2018 as one of the approved courses under the free quality kindergarten subsidy scheme.
Breakthroughs in EM education
The Project has made breakthroughs in EM education with some important deliverables to be disseminated. These include a home-school-community collaborative model, a recognised programme at HKQF Level 3 for nurturing a young generation of EM youth to become multicultural teaching assistants, free dissemination of culturally responsive (CR) teaching and learning resources suitable for language development of EM and CS students, and prototypes of differentiated pedagogy to cater for learning diversity. In addition, three handbooks will be published for free distribution in support of EM education. These are handbook on home engagement, handbook on community programmes and step-to-step guidebook on multicultural kindergartens.
To learn more about C-for-Chinese@JC, click on the following link:
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust has created and funded the “C-for-Chinese@JC” Project, with three local universities and two non-governmental organisations as co-creators. Through pioneering a home-school-community evidence-based model, this five-year Trust-initiated Project aims to develop fundamental Chinese language skills of ethnic minority kindergarten students for better transition into primary education and early integration with Hong Kong society through home-school-community collaboration.