Social Equity and Language Policies
Professor Bob Adamson
Professor of Curriculum Studies,
Head, Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning
The Hong Kong Institute of Education
Date: 4 July 2014 (Friday)
Time: 12:30pm to 2:00pm
Venue: Room D2-LP-04, Lower Podium Floor, Block D2, HKIEd Tai Po Campus
Language policies, if implemented effectively, can enable marginalized groups to fully engage in the social and political life of mainstream society and enjoy educational and economic benefits. Poorly conceived and ineffectively implemented policies, on the other hand, could exacerbate their marginalization and deprivation.
Based a study of trilingual education policies for minority groups in China, this presentation identifies the potential benefits of the policies as well as major tensions that have arisen when the policy is implemented. Although recent efforts by the state to maintain political stability have produced language policies that strive to promote minority languages so that minority groups can maintain their culture and identity, tensions have arisen as the state also makes efforts to promote national cohesion through the promotion of standard Chinese. Meanwhile English has attained prestigious status because of the China’s desire to play a prominent role in international affairs, and English has become an important subject even in primary schools, placing a logistical strain on ethnic minority schools in rural areas.
Bob Adamson is Professor of Curriculum Studies and Head of the Department of International Education and Lifelong Learning at The Hong Kong Institute of Education. At present, Prof Adamson is working on two major research projects. The first is analyzing trilingual education policies in ethnic minority regions of China. The other is studying policy borrowing by England from Hong Kong. He publishes in the fields of English language teaching, teacher education, comparative education, curriculum studies and higher education. His books include China’s English: a history of English in Chinese education (2004), Comparative education research: approaches and methods (co-edited with Mark Bray and Mark Mason, 2007, 2014)—a work translated into six languages—and The reorientation of higher education: challenging the East-West dichotomy (co-edited with Jon Nixon and Feng Su, 2012). Prof Adamson is Editor of Multilingual Education Journal and International Editor of Cogent Education. He is an editorial board member of six journals and three book series. Prof Adamson has also written more than fifty textbooks for primary and secondary schools and was part of the team that produced the Junior English for China and Senior English for China textbook series, which were used by approximately 400 million students.
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** UNESCO Research Seminar Series is a HKIEd 20th Anniversary Celebratory Event, which is jointly organized by: the UNESCO Chair in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Lifelong Learning, the UNESCO-UNEVOC Centre (HK), the UNESCO Arts-in-Education Observatory for Research in Local Cultures and Creativity in Education (RLCCE), Centre for Lifelong Learning Research and Development, and Centre for Governance and Citizenship.