MOI Survey Report: The Current Situation and Prospect of Medium of Instruction – Three Thousand Voices from Teaching Staff

Tse, S.K., Shum, M. S. K., Ki, W. W.




In February 2005, the Working Group on Review of Secondary School Places Allocation and Medium of Instruction for Secondary Schools of the Education Commission (教育統籌委員會檢討中一派位機制及中學教學語言工作小組) (hereafter the Working Group) published the ‘Review of Medium of Instruction for Secondary Schools and Secondary School Places Allocation – Consultation Document’. In response to policies on the medium of instruction (hereafter MOI) in secondary schools, the Support Centre for Teachers using Chinese as the Medium of Instruction (hereafter the Centre) conducted a survey aimed at secondary schools throughout Hong Kong to collect opinions from frontline teachers regarding the issue. It is hoped that, by examining the current situation of schools and generalizing schools’ experiences in adopting different MOIs, we can reflect opinions and needs of the teachers to education policy-makers. Besides, having read teacher’s opinions in the survey, the Centre hopes to further extend its services to provide help and support to teachers. The extension of services was also done in 1998 and 2000 after reviewing results of the survey completed by local secondary schools adopting Chinese as the MOI.


Research Method

The subjects of this survey are principals and teachers. Based on the information provided by the Education and Manpower Bureau (hereafter the EMB), we mailed the questionnaires to all Hong Kong secondary schools, including those have adopted Chinese as the MOI (hereafter CMI schools) and those have adopted English as the MOI (hereafter EMI schools). The survey targeted two groups of people: school administrators and teachers. In the end, 284 school administrators (202 from CMI schools and 82 from EMI schools) and 2,880 teachers (2,057 from CMI schools and 823 from EMI schools) completed and returned the questionnaire. Thus a total of 3,164 questionnaires were collected. According to the information provided by the Committee on Home-School Co-operation of the EMB (2004), there were 460 schools in Hong Kong (346 CMI schools and 114 EMI schools) of which 334 (251 CMI schools and 83 EMI schools) responded to our survey. The school-based response rate of both CMI and EMI schools was 73%.

There were four types of questionnaires. ‘Questionnaire 1’ was set for administrators of CMI schools; ‘Questionnaire 2’ for administrators of EMI schools; ‘Questionnaire3’ for teachers of CMI schools; and ‘Questionnaire 4’ for teachers of EMI schools. School administrators include Principals, Vice Principals, Heads of Academic Units and Subject Heads. Teachers’ questionnaires were completed by non-language subject teachers primarily teaching Geography, History, Economics, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, Biology, Physics, Computer, Liberal Studies and Integrated Humanities in the current academic year.

The questionnaire mainly inquired about the following aspects: background of schools, background of principals and teachers, experience in adopting Chinese or English as the MOI, opinions on the consultation document and expectations on the MOI in Hong Kong.


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Other related MOI studies:

「 轉用母語教學後的適應與過渡」問卷調查報告 (1999)

“Adjustments and Transitions - After Shifting to Using Chinese as the Medium of Instruction” (1999)


MOI Survey Report 2002: The implementation of Chinese as Medium of Instruction (CMI)

母語教學施行情況調查報告 (2002)


Mother Tongue Education in Hong Kong: Research and Practice




1998 – 2000 “Establishment of Support Centre for Teachers using Chinese as the Medium of Instruction (publicly known as CMI Centre)” (Sponsored by Language Fund (SCOLAR))

2000 – 2004 “Quality Education with Chinese as the Medium of Instruction” (Quality Education Fund Project No. 1999/0882)


Acknowledgements 1
I. Background 2
II. Research Method 2
III. Results of the Survey 4-25
  The Efficacy of Switching the MOI into Chinese 4
  The Support Needed by Teachers Adopting Mother-tongue Teaching. 6
  Views of CMI schools and EMI schools on MOI. 8
  Views of EMI schools on Bilingual Learning 9
  Bilingual Learning and Bifurcation Approach 10
  Views of CMI schools on the Extended English Learning Hours at Junior Secondary Level 12
  Views of EMI schools on Infusing Mother Tongue Teaching into the Curriculum 13
  Views of CMI and EMISchools on the Bifurcation Approach 14
  Models of Policies in the Medium of Instruction 15
  English Learning 17
  Views on School-based Decision Making 19
  Criteria for Adopting English as the MOI 21
  Views on the Newly Proposed MOI Mechanism 23
  Problems Arising from Changing the MOI 24
IV. Conclusion and Recommendations 25-30