Bilingual Education

Southeast Asian Perspectives


Angel M. Y. Lin and Evelyn Y. F. Man

ISBN : 978-962-209-959-3


March 2009

176 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$150.00

Also available in Hardback HK$295.00

Questions regarding whether a first or a second/foreign language should be used as a medium of instruction (MOI) in schools, and if yes, for whom, and when, have been enthusiastically debated in recent years in Hong Kong and many Southeast Asian societies. The public debates, however, have largely not been able to benefit from the existing international body of research in bilingual education as well as the educational experiences of other countries. The reason is that such knowledge is often either couched in specialized, technical language or scattered over diverse journals and books, which are often off-putting to teachers, parents, school principals, policy makers and the general public. There is an urgent need to critically integrate and review the international research literature with a view to informing public debates and policy making regarding the medium of instruction in Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian contexts.

This book aims at meeting this urgent need by discussing, in accessible language, research findings on key concepts of bilingual education, and recent developments of bilingual education policies in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. Teachers, students and researchers in the areas of bilingual education, language policy and planning (LPP), and studies of medium of instruction policy and practice both in Hong Kong and other Southeast Asian contexts will benefit from the book. Government officials and policy makers involved in language policy and planning, as well as school principals, parents and university administrators will also find this book especially useful in providing them with a research-based LPP framework for thinking, discussing and studying about important issues in LPP in their respective contexts.

Angel M. Y. Lin is an associate professor in the Department of English, City University of Hong Kong. Evelyn Y. F. Man is an associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Bilingual Education: Southeast Asian Perspectives is a refreshingly welcome text by two experts on bilingual education and English language teaching in international contexts whose scholarship is matched by their passion for culturally relevant approaches to bilingual education. Their focus on Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore is significant, as each of these areas is faced with major challenges to provide equitable education for their respective linguistically diverse populations. Angel Lin and Evelyn Man’s careful analysis is contextually grounded as it steps away from prescriptive remedies. Their work informs policy and practice within local contexts against the pressures of nationalism and globalization. This text will be of value to both scholars and serious students as it challenges dominant assumptions about bilingual education within real world contexts.” —Terrence G. Wiley, Professor of Education and Applied Linguistics, Arizona State University

“The medium of instruction is controversial in postcolonial societies such as Hong Kong, which often view bilingualism as a ticket to global competitiveness. Bilingual Education: Southeast Asian Perspectives critically assesses this rhetoric and explores how bilingual competencies can be fostered effectively and equitably across diverse groups of students. The accessible presentation of research against the social, historical, and political backdrop provides unique and innovative perspectives to teachers and policy makers.” —Ryuko Kubota, Professor of Second Language Education, the University of British Columbia