Language rights and the medium-of-instruction issue in Hong Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Language policy and human rights are both areas of lively debate in Hong Kong. Language rights, where language policy and human rights intersect, are less frequently discussed. Nevertheless, rights are often mentioned in connection with language policy. For example, in the field of education some argue for Chinese-medium education on the grounds that the right to mother-tongue medium education is fundamental, while others argue that parents should have the right to choose between Chinese- and English-medium. This paper aims to establish the extent to which statements of these kinds can be grounded in recognised principles of language rights that are applicable to the unique sociolinguistic setting of Hong Kong. The first part of the paper discusses general principles of language rights as they apply to Hong Kong. The second part discusses the medium-of-instruction issue in Hong Kong from the perspective of language rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalHong Kong Journal of Applied Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

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