Thursday, September 24, 2009

International Benchmarks: Hong Kong

Comparing the proposed English standards for the United States of America to those of a little mercantilist dongle hanging off China is a stretch. And the scope of the Hong Kong English standards document is different from the others I've read so far, making comparisons difficult. For example:

The values that we develop underpin our conduct and decisions. They can be positive or negative in effect. Examples of positive values include honesty, self-esteem and perseverance. Examples of positive social values include equality, interdependence and tolerance. An example of a negative value is egocentricity.

Yeah... we're not going to be including that. Focusing on the curriculum, however:

The English Language Curriculum provides learners with learning experiences to increase their language proficiency for study, work, leisure and personal enrichment; develop their knowledge, skills, values and attitudes; and promote lifelong learning so as to enhance their personal and intellectual development, cultural understanding and global competitiveness.

Hong Kong perhaps could be excused for adopting purely utilitarian/economic goals for English language instruction. They don't. Their vision for English instruction is more expansive than the one proposed for America. Sad.

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