Evaluating the quality of learning: An experience from a language enrichment programme

Year: 2004

Author: Li, Benjamin, Wong, Jennie

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The switch of the teaching medium of junior secondary classes in Hong Kong from English (EMI) to Chinese (CMI) in 1998 has met strong opposition from parents for fear of possible decline in the learners’ level of English proficiency due to reduction in exposure. To make up for this and to smoothen the transition from CMI to EMI in senior secondary level, a 2-year English Enrichment Programme (EEP) was piloted in selected schools starting 2001. An evaluation project assessing the effectiveness of the EEP was also launched in the same year. This paper reports the preliminary findings from the evaluation project on how well the students learnt in the EEP.

In the evaluation, emphasis has been given to analysing the extent to which three conditions necessary for optimal L2 learning were present in the students’ learning process in the EEP. These conditions include comprehensible exposure and input, opportunities for L2 use with feedback, and motivation. The paper reports the process and findings of this evaluation. Implications are drawn for how the design and implementation of the EEP could be improved to ensure quality provision of the conditions so as to improve the effect of learning, which shed light on programmes of which content is learnt through a second or foreign language, and also on immersion programmes for immigrant learners at a time when globalisation has led to increased cross-border mobility of people.