strategy index project index project proposals

English or languish - Probing the ramifications
of Hong Kong's language policy

Project No. 1
Proposal Abstract
First draft (pdf document - 1.1MB)

Primary Goals of This Study

Research Design

An examination
In order to obtain an accurate overall assessment of attrition (retention or improvement) the voluntary co-operation of randomly selected members of the population is required. After selection individuals will be asked to sit for a comprehensive examination.

A questionnaire
In order to better understand how the English language is used in Hong Kong society, Hong Kongers attitudes about its use, and the importance or non importance of the UEL requirement, will be examined. To this end a questionnaire will be administered that addresses each of the above issues in depth.

General hypothesis

Knowledge is only truly useful, if it is utilised; under-utilised knowledge is subject to attrition. By measuring English language attrition across broad segments of Hong Kong's population one can better understand the extent to which English is truly utilised by Hong Kongers, and thus indirectly the true need for the UEL requirement.

If no attrition is taking place, then Hong Kongers are making good use of what they acquired in school, and there is strong reason to further promote the UEL requirement. If on the other hand attrition is taking place and that attrition is both widespread and/or profound, then the justification for the requirement should be re-examined, and other ways to satisfy Hong Kong's true English language needs should be explored. In summary,

Null hypothesis (Ho): No attrition is taking place.
Alternative hypothesis (H1): Attrition is taking place.